The European PS3 launch will be on March 23rd and it looks like this console will have a slightly different hardware specification than the U.S. and Japanese models. We already learned last week that the European model will have worse backwards compatibility and now we learn it's because the European models won't have the Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesizer (EE+GS) chip:
The European PS3 will lack the Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesizer (EE+GS) chip necessary to provide hardware-based backwards compatibility for previous-generation titles. Instead, Sony plans to accomplish compatibility with older games through software emulation—a trickier and more fickle feat than simply including and utilizing PS2 processors.
“The Emotion Engine has been removed and that function has been replaced with software,” said Nick Sharples, a spokesman for Sony in London. That has a “slightly detrimental effect” on compatibility, he said to the IDG News Service.
“The backwards compatibility is not going to be as good as the U.S. and Japan models,” another Sony spokesman said to Reuters.