Yes, but the answer is complicated
Backwards compatibility, or the ability for a console to run game discs from the previous generation, is an important feature for a system to have. PlayStation consoles have not been consistently backwards compatible, such as with the PS4 not playing PS3 or PS2 games (unless they’ve been ported to the PS4 format).
So, with the newest edition to the PlayStation family of consoles now available, many fans are wondering: can the PS5 play older PS4 or PS3 games?
The answer is a little bit complex depending on what you’re trying to play, but for this console backwards compatibility has certainly been a focus for Sony.
Can the PS5 Play PS4 Games?
The good news is that the PS5 has been made backwards compatible with PS4 games, but how you play them depends on which version of the PS5 console you’ve bought.
If you got the PS5 with the disc drive, you’ll be able to use your PS4 discs on your PS5 console. You can also play PS4 games that you may have downloaded already from the PlayStation store. They’ll automatically be connected when you log into your PS5 with your PlayStation Network account.
If you got the PS5 Digital Edition, you can still play PS4 games, but you won’t be able to play any PS4 discs you may have. The digital PS4 games you own will be playable though.
You can also play PS4 PlayStation VR games on the PS5, yet you’ll also need a PS VR headset, PlayStation Camera for PS4, and a Camera adaptor. You can request a PlayStation Camera adaptor for free from Sony to connect your PS VR headset to your PS5.
Can the PS5 Play PS3 Games?
Unfortunately, the PS5 can’t play PS3 game discs, but there are some PS3 games you will be able to play. PlayStation has released many PS3 games as PS4 remasters, such as Last of Us and God of War, and you can definitely play them on the PS5.
With the PS5 you’ll also be able to use PlayStation Now, which is a streaming service that allows you to stream games from cloud-based servers. With this service, you can play select games from the PS3 as well as the PS2. PlayStation Now requires a monthly fee, but you’ll have access to any of these games you want to play.
So, while technically the PS5 can’t play PS3 games, many of your favorites from that generation will be available for you to play on the PS5 in some way.
How About Older PlayStation Games?
The answer to this is about the same as with PlayStation 3 games. You can’t use PS2 or PS1 discs with the PS5, however there are some PS2 and PS1 games that are available on the PlayStation store as well as remastered versions (such as MediEvill) made for the PS4.
Games you buy on the PS4 through the PlayStation store, as previously mentioned, are automatically connected to your PSN (PlayStation Network) account. This goes for any digital game, no matter what generation they are from. When you log into your PS5 with your PSN account, all your digital games from your PS4 should be available to you.
So, this means that digital versions of older PlayStation games will be available for you to play on the PS5. If you don’t want to buy any digital versions of these games, like with PS3 games there’s also the option of using PlayStation Now.
This service offers not only PS3 games, but also older PS2 games. This makes it easy to play any game you want without having to buy it if you don’t want to. Playing PS1 games may be harder to achieve, as there isn’t really a library of them on PlayStation Now, but for some games you can find remastered versions for the PS4.
Why Can’t Older Games Be Played on the PS5?
There’s a reason why backwards compatibility for PS3 games on newer consoles is so difficult: the inner makeup of the PS3 system is wildly different from that of the PS5. This makes it a waste of time to make PS3 games playable on the newest console.
The PS3 ran on a unique processing system, making it extremely difficult to replicate and emulate. The PS4, in comparison, is more compatible with the PS5. And, since there are already many ways to play PS3 games on the latest consoles, Sony hasn’t felt it imperative to take up such a difficult task.
As for even older consoles, their systems are even further removed from the PS5, so Sony opts instead to change and remaster the individual games themselves instead of making a difficult change to the console as a whole.
More Choices With Remastered Games
As time goes on you’ll likely see more and more remastered versions of your favorite classic games, so don’t feel too discouraged if some of the ones you love aren’t available for you to play on the PS5 yet.
So, tell us which are remakes and remastered games you want to see on the PlayStation 5?