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PS3 games may be coming to PS5 with native support, but compatibility issues raise doubt

PS3 coming to PS5? We'll have to wait and see
Last Updated on June 24, 2024
PlayStation 5 console with box and PS5 controller
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According to online rumors, Sony might be developing a way for PlayStation 5 users to play certain PlayStation 3 games directly on their consoles, rather than relying on cloud streaming. On the flip side, some fans have their doubts regarding native support.

This news comes from Shpeshal Nick, a reputable gaming insider, who revealed on the XboxEra podcast that Sony is reportedly working on bringing backward compatibility for select PS3 titles to the PS5. These compatible PS3 games would likely be sold individually, similar to Microsoft’s approach with Xbox backward compatibility.

An exciting development, but is there a catch?

This potential development is exciting for PlayStation fans, as PS3 games are currently only playable on PS5 through cloud streaming with PlayStation Plus Premium due to a lack of backward compatibility. Cloud streaming can sometimes result in a less-than-ideal gaming experience, so the ability to play PS3 games directly on the PS5 would be a significant improvement. Additionally, purchasing games individually would be preferable to requiring a PlayStation Plus Premium subscription for cloud access.

However, with a further bit of research, you’ll find that truly native compatibility may be an issue. Due to a key difference in the two consoles’ architecture (PS3 uses RISC with a Cell processor, while PS5 runs on x86, much like the PS4), playing PS3 games on PS5 may have to resort to some kind of emulation instead, though we’d love to be proven wrong. Many people were quick to point this out in a Reddit thread, further noting that using physical PS3 discs on the PS5 is out of the question too.

Just a rumor for now

It’s important to remember that this is just a rumor for now, and we shouldn’t get our hopes up until Sony officially confirms it. There are also some unknowns surrounding this potential backward compatibility. For instance, it’s unclear whether the PS3 games playable on PS5 would benefit from any performance or visual enhancements.

Likewise, there’s no information on which specific PS3 games would be included in this backward compatibility selection, although Shpeshal Nick speculates that they might primarily be first-party titles, which seems reasonable. First-party franchises will include the likes of Uncharted and The Last of Us.

First Party Titles from PS3 – Image Source: Sony

Overall, the possibility of native PS3 backward compatibility on PlayStation 5 is a promising one for PS users. It would offer a more reliable and potentially improved way to revisit classic PS3 titles on the current generation console, without requiring a specific subscription service. However, we should wait for Sony’s official announcement before getting too excited.

Tom is a tech writer with a detailed view on ensuring the best buying advice, most useful information, and latest news makes its way into PC Guide's articles.