Sony has made a big effort to ensure the PS5 is backwards compatible with games from older PlayStation consoles.
Not only does the new console support PS4 discs and digital downloads, but it can also download and play games from the PS1, PS2 and PSP platforms via the upcoming PS Plus Premium subscription.
But what about PS3 games? Well that’s a little bit more complex.
Can you play PS3 games on PS5?
The answer is yes, you can play PS3 games on PS5 – but that comes with a big caveat. From June 2022, you’ll need a PS Plus Premium membership in order to play PS3 games, but even then you won’t be able to download them to your hard drive.
This means you’ll only be able to play PS3 games on the PS5 console via cloud streaming, not too dissimilar to how Google Stadia operates or how Xbox Game Pass allows you to play the likes of Halo Infinite on your smartphone.
The downside to streaming is that you need a constant internet connection in order to play PS3 games on the PS5. And if your internet speeds aren’t fast and consistent enough, you could encounter numerous performance issues. For this reason, many fans prefer to download games instead of using cloud-streaming technology.
Strangely, PS Plus Premium subscribers will be able to download PS1, PS2 and even PSP games onto the PS5, so why not PS3? Sony hasn’t offered an explanation, but many people have suggested that the PS3’s architecture is so complex that it’s difficult to emulate, and Sony doesn’t seem interested in investing the money to resolve the issue when cloud streaming already offers up a solution.
It’s possible that Sony will perform a U-turn given the fan backlash to the announcement, but for the time being, it seems highly unlikely that you’ll be able to download PS3 games onto the PS5 any time soon – cloud streaming is better than nothing, at least.
Can you buy digital PS3 games on PS5?
There is no option to buy digital games on the PS5. If you want to play any game from the PS3 library, you’ll have to subscribe to PS Now or PS Plus Premium come June 2022.
Can you insert a PS3 disc into a PS5?
In terms of using physical discs, the PS5 only supports PS4 and PS5 games. This sadly means the console won’t be able to recognise PS3 game discs, even if those same games are available via PlayStation’s subscription service.
Which PS3 games work on PS5?
The only PS3 games you’ll be able to play on the PS5 are those available in the PS Now / PS Plus Premium subscription service.
Right now, PS Now offers a great range of PS3 titles, including Uncharted 2, Batman: Arkham City, The Last of Us, BioShock, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Journey and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
Of course, this game library is expected to be updated frequently so don’t be surprised if more are added or removed in the future. You can check out the entire list of PS Now titles by following this link.