Sony Said to be Working on Native PS3 Backwards Compatibility on PS5

The PlayStation 5 remains a powerful and capable console almost four years on since it launched in 2020. Sony’s current-gen console has sold nearly 60 million units and has remained far ahead of its Microsoft competitor, the Xbox Series S/X consoles. The PS5 boasts of a strong library of games, but when it comes to offering backwards compatibility, the console trails Xbox. Sony, however, seems to be aiming to close the gap, with a fresh rumour claiming that the PlayStation parent is still working on backwards compatibility for PS3 games on PS5.

PS3 backwards compatibility on PS5

The PS5 has no trouble running PS4 titles, in addition to games available natively on the current-gen console. A rich PS4 library of games, many of which have received updates to perform better on the PS5, has helped bolster the catalogue of titles available on Sony’s console.

The PS5, however, still doesn’t support PS3 games. Its lack complete backwards compatibility sticks out, especially since the Xbox Series S/X can run compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games without any issues. Sony has long been rumoured to be working on PS3 emulation that would allow users to play games from the PS3 era on modern consoles. Those rumours gathered steam Monday when journalist and industry insider Jeff Grubb claimed that Sony was indeed working on PS3 emulation for “quite some time.”

Grubb, commenting on the rumour on the Game Mess Mornings podcast for Giant Bomb, said that a PS3 emulator that can run PS3 era games natively on the PS5 has been in the works for long. “It’s something that I’ve heard. It’s been in the works for quite some time. I thought it was going to get revealed earlier this year when if first heard about it. That clearly didn’t happen,” Grubb said on the podcast.

“But that doesn’t mean it will never happen. Maybe it does,” he added. The journalist also discussed the possible ways classic PS3 games could be played natively on PS5. “The easiest way, really, is a backwards compatibility layer on the PS5, made by Sony so that it could just work on the PS5 if you put a (PS3) disc in, or maybe you could buy it again or something like that… we’ll see.”

PS Plus Classics Catalog

Sony has not revealed any plans for an official PS3 emulation tool on the PS5. The current-gen console, however, supports select PS3 games through the Classics Catalog. PS5 users need to subscribe to PS Plus Deluxe/Premium membership to access the Classics Catalog. It’s also worth noting that the PS3 era games on the catalogue aren’t playable natively on the PS5 but are rather streamed over an Internet connection.

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