Sony released the hardware specifications for the PAL Sony PS3 console. At first you wonder why such a release is necessary. Reading the Sony release it becomes apparent that Sony changed the PS3 for the PAL territories.
The biggest change is that Sony moved to software based PS2 game emulation which apparently supports fewer titles than the original US or Japanese Sony PS3, which features a hardware solution. On March 23rd Sony will published the compatible PS2 games here. It would be fair to consumers actually if Sony would publish the list earlier, to give them an idea before the purchase of how many PS2 titles they can use. Maybe it is just best to keep your PS2.
Also do not expect Sony to invest much time in improving the software PS2 emulation as the press-release quotes David Reeves, President of SCEE saying "Rather than concentrate on PS2 backwards compatibility, in the future, company resources will be increasingly focused on developing new games and entertainment features exclusively for PS3, truly taking advantage of this exciting technology."
Heise reports that Sony saves about $40 in hardware cost to go with the Software PS2 emulation on the CELL CPU.
There is also some cryptic information about 7.1 ch audio. You need a device compatible with Linear PCM 7.1 Ch to get 7.1 ch audio, supported by Dolby TrueHD from the HDMI OUT connector.
The new Sony PS3 console will be available on March 23rd. As reported on our I4U UK Edition Sony PS3 pre-order stock is plentiful right now in the UK.
More details in this Sony press-release.