Upgrade from PS2 to PS3 - performance differences

Hey folks. My wife (almost typed “the wife,” but I’ll save that for a different thread) and I are contemplating switching over from the PS2 to the PS3 in anticipation of a couple of PS3-specific games coming out later this year. What I’m curious about, though, is how our current PS2 games will play on the new system.

We have the original version of the PS2, given to us about six years ago. Will a PS3 cause our older games to perform any better or, perhaps more importantly, load any faster? I’ve poked around on the web a bit to try to find an answer, but the reviews seem mixed.

Do any of you have personal experience with this upgrade? If it’s helpful, the PS2 games we tend to play the most are Ratchet & Clank (all versions), MLB 2007, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2007, Guitar Hero (both versions) and Hot Shots Golf Fore!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yes, we’re committed to buying the PS3. But I care about the answer to this question because the game we’re most interested in buying for the PS3 – “Rock Band” – isn’t supposed to come out until November. If there’s a noticeable improvement in gameplay for PS2 games, then it would be worth us investing in the upgrade now. Otherwise, we would probably hold off and hope for a PS3 price drop around the holiday season.


I have read (and have no direct experience) that PS2 games do run noticeably slower on the PS3. Perhaps a five to ten percent slowdown and there are a few games that have glitches. The backward compatibility is as good as you’re going to get without building on the same hardware architecture unlike the X-Box 360 where I have yet to put an X-Box game in and have it work correctly.

Sony does have a page for checking compatibility on their site.

SLOWER?! :eek:

I was anticipating that the much-better hardware would actually enhance speeds with the older software. Silly me.

To keep it simple, they’re adding an extra layer of stuff to go through before it’s shown on your television. Consequently there’s a little bit of slowdown involved. Some key parts of the PS2 and PS1 are built into the PS3 for that compatibility but others are handled by the PS3 hardware and to do that it has to run some pretty hefty processes to make the new stuff act like the old stuff.

And I should add that every game is different. Some games interact with the PS2 hardware in a way that is harder to copy on the PS3 so they’ll be a bit more slow. Others might not use certain more difficult functions and run almost as fast.

The PS2 GH controller does not work with the PS3, even though there is a dongle for sale that specifically states that it does work with GH 1 and 2. The reviews from people who bought the adapter universally say it does not work very well, if at all.

I have a PS3 and it gets little use.

Wow, yet another reason to avoid the PS3? We’re truly getting into “unprecedented” territory, here.

I just heard about the whole “no online content for Grand Theft Auto 4 on PS3”…truly the beginning of the end.

PS2 still outsells PS3.

Well, the new upconverter update has made my games look a bit shinier, I can say that. Also, the way that I can run certain games - Like God of War 2 - on HD has definitely made me happy in the pants.

I’ve never experienced any slowdowns in any of my old PS2 catalogue games, though. I’ve run through God of War 1&2, Katamari Dalmacy, We Love Katamari, Final Fantasy XII (and some of X and IX) and around 12 other games not worth mentioning. If anything, the load times have been noticeably less painful and the games have all been smooth, unlike my old PS2. My armchair hypothesis is that the abovementioned speed lapse is about compensated by the age and wear on my (4 years old) PS2, so that’s why I haven’t noticed any negative difference.

Ah yes, I forgot about the Katamari games. We definitely play those as well.

Your experience is precisely what I’m hoping for, but there just doesn’t seem to be any consensus out there, as evidenced by prior posts in this very thread. I wonder if those who experienced slowing going from PS2 to PS3 had the newer generation of the PS2 when they switched.

Since someone with direct experience with it has posted I don’t think I’m going to reply any further; my first post was just because I saw that this was about to fall off the front page with no comment so even my minimal information would be helpful.

I will say that I don’t think that slowdown due to hardware emulation is any reason to avoid a PS3. This is the kind of thing you have to expect when dealing with backward compatibility. No one who has commented on the slowdown that I’ve read has said that it makes the games unplayable (a few have mentioned that it threw off their timing in games they were familiar with). Few people would notice something as small as a five percent drop, though if you were really familiar with the game on PS2 it might feel a little off.

I would check the backward compatibility page I linked to since it has the current information and Sony has released updates to help performance and improve the compatibility (some of the comments I’ve read may have been from before those updates).