Let's have a close look at these claims of yours...
What has been lost on the PS3:
- Emotion Engine (hardware)
First gen PS3 was very expensive, people bitched about the price and Sony responded by removing the PS2 compatibility. Sony still sells the PS2 console so there was no need to punish people who wanted a PS3 by forcing them to subsidize the PS2 owners. Less hardware = cheaper console.
Problem there chief, but it's very likely many PS2 games could be done in software. Neverminding the fact that the PS2 hardware needed is likely DIRT CHEAP for Sony (PS2 is $100 retail, and I suspect they're raking in profits off of those systems at this stage of the game).
- SACD playback (software)
Did anyone actually want this? While it's likely that a PS3 owner would have an HDTV, it's unlikely they would own a high end audio setup to take advantage of SACD. Anyone serious about this functionality would own a proper standalone SACD player. Less hardware = cheaper console.
It's software, not hardware. They flipped a bit and turned it off for the Slim units, there's nothing hardware related with SACD playback...
- USB 2.0 ports (hardware)
Not sure if reducing the number of ports counts as a "lost feature". Two ports is likely plenty for most people, and it's easy to add your own hub to increase the number of ports. Less hardware = cheaper console.
Oversimplified. USB ports (the hardware) cost PENNIES. Trust me, knocking off two USB ports didn't save Sony (or the consumer, for that matter) anything. About the only complaint I have about the 4 USB ports I have is that all four are on the front. I'd have preferred one or two on the back for external storage (so it looks nicer in my rack setup).
- Full PS2 backwards compatibility (software)
PS3 never had full PS2 compatibility in software, purely a myth perpetuated by the un-informed. First generation PS3 had full hardware PS2 support; second generation had a mix of hardware and software emulation. Made the PS3 expensive and added redundant capabilities as the PS2 was (and is) still being sold. Less hardware = cheaper console.
Okay, you're obviously "informed". Educate me how the PS3 isn't powerful enough to run PS2 software?
- Other OS Linux (software): retroactively disabled on older hardware as well now with the new update
Debatable whether this was a usable feature or not. Linux on the PS3 was horrible and Sony's removal of the option on the slim models was met with little but a yawn and "so what?" It wasn't until Geohot paraded around his so called PS3 hack and thousands of pirates perked up with the hope of finally getting their hands on some free PS3 games did anyone care about the OtherOS option. Sony acted to protect their platform and the pirates raised a ruckus. Anyone who used the old model PS3 for Cell programming couldn't care less, they didn't use the PS3 for games or playing blu-ray.
If you're one of those people still pissed off over having to choose between OtherOS or games/PSN, direct your anger to Geohot for pissing in your pool.
Why would I direct my rage at geohot when it's Sony who disabled it? Am I pro-piracy? No. But I am definitely all about consumer rights, and consumers bought a COMPUTER when they bought a PS3. Sony decided, on their own, unilaterally, to force people to choose between losing their computer or losing other portions of the device THEY PAID FOR. As I've said in dozens of other places, I'll be shocked if a class action lawsuit isn't started over this. If there was ever a "line in the sand" moment for people to stand up, this was it.
- SD and CF slots (hardware
Redundant hardware, PS3 already had USB ports and there was no need to provide multiple ports for the same function. Less hardware = cheaper console.
Again, dirt cheap hardware. Slightly more expensive than the two USB ports, but still nothing to write home about (likely less than USD $1.00 for the whole kit).
All I know is that I paid $600 for this system and it promised me the ability to install other operating systems on it. That promise has been broken, and not by accident, but purposefully, with intent and malice. That strikes me as actionable in the courts here (and obviously it's already heading that way in more progressive regions of the world; the person who got a partial refund in Europe being a leading example).