Sony has launched an online compatibility checker, which as well as listing titles which will and will not work, also points out games that utilise older peripherals that are not compatible with PS3, such as the multiplayer Multitap device.
Microsoft experienced a number of similar problems when it launched Xbox 360 last November. Unlike PS3, Xbox 360 never promised total backwards compatibility with Xbox titles as it relies on software emulation, as opposed to PS3’s hardware emulation.
The difference between the two is that Xbox 360 uses embedded software that forces the Xbox 360 to behave like an original Xbox. PS3, on the other hand, is said to include the inner mechanics of a PSOne and PS2 within its circuitry.
The latter option is more expensive but should allow for flawless backwards compatibility. However, the early problems with PS3 suggest this is not the case.
Sony has already begun releasing patches over its online network, much like Microsoft has done, which should address some of the compatibility issues. Whether this will lead to total backwards compatibility is yet to be seen.