+1 to the OP, but I have no idea how DF could conclusively prove anything without a dev kit.|
I used to have a 60GB and I notice that on my new slim the PS2 classics seem to share some emulation curiosities, i.e. the way the console appears to reboot into a different OS when you fire up a PS2 game. It also disconnects your controller and your network connection exactly like the 60GB did with a real PS2 disc, and these things convince me the PSN downloads ARE a PS2 ISO running in software emulation.
BUT, before you jump to the uncomfortable conclusion, some facts need to be restated. Remember that the 60GB console emulated the PS2's processor but needed the actual PS2 graphics chip, the GS, to handle the massive fill rate of the PS2? When the GS was removed from subsequent PS3 revisions this meant no more PS2 emulation for the simple reason that a lower fill rate chip can't just 'emulate' a higher fill rate chip. It's not possible.
With this in mind my feeling is that yes, the PSN downloads ARE just PS2 ISOs that are being emulated, but the source code of these games has been modified so the games don't make use of the original hardware's huge fill rate. In other words, the games have been changed specifically so they can be offered for download on the PS3, and this is why there is a valid reason why you still can't just pop your PS2 discs in, even a game that is offered on the store.
Still, they could probably offer patches for the disc versions once the PS3 version arrives on the store, but like Sony I fail to see any financial incentive for doing that, assuming it's even possible.
2600, SMS, MD, GEN, 32X, MCD, Saturn, DC, NES, Famicom, SNES, SFC, N64, NGC, Wii, PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4*, Xbox.