Sony set a precedent with the PlayStation 2 six years ago when they launched in Japan. Out of the box the system was backwards compatible with the original PlayStation. In 2005, five years after the PS2 launch, the Xbox 360 launched without a coherent backwards compatibility strategy. While Microsoft does offer emulators for original Xbox games, it requires Xbox Live, many of them glitch and hundreds of games are not supported at all. Microsoft’s position was summed up pretty well when Peter Moore famously said, “Nobody is concerned anymore about backwards compatibility.”
Sony does not want to make the same mistake with the PlayStation 3. The official PlayStation website reads that in order to use “saved data on a PlayStation 2 memory card, you must copy the data onto a virtual memory card within the hard disk. This requires a PS2/PSone memory card adaptor to copy the data to your PlayStation 3.” In other words, it not only appears that the PlayStation 3 will play your PSone and PS2 games, it will likely also recognize their save files.