With the European launch of the PlayStation 3 next Friday, it's time to clean a little rumor house before the next wave. Two hanging issues out there are the lack of 20 GB PS3 models in the U.S. and an absolute misleading piece about European PS3 backwards compatibility.
Joystiq spoke with Dave Karraker, senior director of communications at SCEA, about the lack of 20GB PS3 models at stores in the U.S. We have received numerous reports about major retailers removing the model from their computer system. Karraker said, "The 20GB model of PS3 is available in North America, along with the 60GB model. While we make it available to retailers, they are the ones who ultimately place the order for what they want to sell, based on consumer demand. Overwhelmingly, retailers have been requesting the 60GB model, the mix has been about 80 percent 60GB, 20 percent 20GB retailer orders. So, the reason you might not be seeing the 20 GB is simply that retailers have been ordering more of the 60 GB unit."
The other story gaining unnecessary traction is about PS3 European backward compatibility. Although we're certainly staying cautiously optimistic that the European backward compatibility won't be a total disaster, the simple fact of the matter is that the Euro PS3 hasn't gotten its launch firmware upgrade. As Karraker put it, "No firmware update equals no software emulation." The real compatibility list will release on March 23rd, along with the firmware update making it all possible. Until that time, unless Sony releases an early list to media outlets, there is no way to report the final list of European backward compatibility titles.