In an "exclusive interview" with "semiofficial" Playstation blog, Threespeech, Sony's Phil Harrison provides some clarity regarding the PAL PS3's range of backwards compatibility, not to mention the opportunity to place even more quotation marks into this paragraph. "The situation is changing every day, but on March 23, we expect the list to include over 1,000 PS2 titles." Sony's head of worldwide studios is referring to the list of PS2 games that are expected to be supported by the software emulation found in European PS3s.
This announcement certainly defuses some of the controversy that resulted from Sony announcing the removal of PS2 hardware from European PS3 systems. After promising software support for a "limited" number of titles, many European gamers were feeling rightly cheated for having to pay a higher price for a PS3 with fewer features. Though the specific titles that comprise the list have yet to be announced (Harrison notes that Sony's policy is to focus on popular titles), it seems Sony is already far better equipped than Microsoft when it comes to fighting the inevitable onslaught of gamers complaining about their favorite title not being supported.
Mr. Harrison also promises that an online list of backwards compatible games will be available on March 23, and that it will grow with every PS3 firmware update.