Do PS3 games work on PS5 with backward compatibility?

The rumored PS3 store shutdown has fans wondering how they’ll play these games in the future. It’d be pretty convenient if PS3 games work on PS5, but backward compatibility hasn’t been Sony’s strong suit. Here are all the details on whether you can play PS3 games on PS5 or not.

Can you play PS3 games on PS5?

PS3 on PS5 PlayStation Now

The big thing setting Sony and Microsoft apart this generation is backward compatibility. While the Xbox Series X|S consoles can play many Xbox and Xbox 360 games and the entire Xbox One library, the PS5 can only run PS4 titles.

This isn’t all Sony’s fault, though. The PS3 used a custom architecture that makes it very hard to emulate. Even high-end PCs have issues running PS3 games via emulation, and putting the work in to build and optimize a PS3 emulator for PS5 isn’t a priority for Sony.

There is one way to play PS3 games on PS5, and that’s through PS Now. Unfortunately, this doesn’t allow players to use their past library, be it physical or digital. Even if you own a title, you’ll still have to pay for PS Now to play it.

Given how fragile early PS3 systems are, many players will soon find themselves unable to enjoy their past purchases for the console. There’s a chance that Sony may find some sort of solution to this issue, but it’s more likely that players will just have to deal with it. Fortunately, PS3 emulation is coming along at a steady clip, so fans of the console will at least be able to enjoy games that way.

If the PS3 store closes, it’ll be the first digital storefront for a major console to do so. It was assumed that Sony would continue providing the storefront, but rumors state that’s not the case. Whether or not players will be able to continue to download purchases after the store closes isn’t known yet as Sony hasn’t made an official announcement.