An SCEJ patent that describes an adaptor to allow current generation compatibility with an older generation console has sparked speculation Sony could be looking into returning PS2 compatibility to PS3.
Unless you have one of the good old full-fat PS3's from the console early months on sale, your Sony box spits PS2 games out like they're off eggs. But the patent, discovered by Siliconera, appears to show that an adaptor add-on could be the key to returning retro gaming to your newer powerhouse.
The patent describes the add-on as having its own sound and graphics processors, and DVD-decoding hardware. Quite why all this is needed when PS3 could emulate a PS2 game in software is puzzling to us.
Early Japanese and US PS3's had PS2 chips in them to allow full hardware compatibility with PS2 games. The chip was later removed, and PS2 games were instead played via software emulation (as done in early Euro PS3s).
Then, soon after PS3's UK launch, PS2 compatibility was removed altogether. Saving on hardware costs is the most touted reason, but we remember Sony having slightly shrewder motives.