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PlayStation 4 Backwards Compatibility: Can You Play PS1, PS2, and PS3 Games on PlayStation 4. Sony Playstation 2 slim

PlayStation 4 Backwards Compatibility: Can You Play PS1, PS2, and PS3 Games on PlayStation 4?

Jennifer Allen has been writing about technology since 2010. Her work has appeared in Mashable, TechRadar, and many more publications.

Michael Heine is a CompTIA-certified writer, editor, and Network Engineer with 25 years’ experience working in the television, defense, ISP, telecommunications, and education industries.

What to Know

  • Purchase an Extra or Deluxe Playstation Plus membership to access the Game and Classics Catalogs and play older games.
  • You can download classic and remastered PS2 and PS3 games from the Playstation Store on your console.
  • Neither option has the full PS1, PS2 or PS3 catalog, so there’s no guarantee that your favorite game is available.

This article explains how to play PS1, PS2, and PS3 games on a PlayStation 4 by downloading or streaming them on Playstation Plus or purchasing classic and remastered games from the Playstation Store.

How to Use Playstation Plus to Play PS2 and PS3 Games Through Your PlayStation 4

The Playstation 4 disc drive and hardware can’t read PS2 or PS3 discs, so the easiest way to access your favorite old games is to use a Playstation Plus Extra or Deluxe membership. The Extra tier provides access to the Game Catalog, which includes some PlayStation 4 titles. The more expensive Deluxe tier also includes the Classics Catalog, which has older titles.

How to Download PS1, PS2 or PS3 games to the PlayStation 4

Some PS1, PS2 and PS3 games are available to purchase through the Playstation Store, allowing you to play them on your PlayStation 4. Not many are available through the service but it’s worth checking. Here’s how to download them.

Major games included here include classic Grand Theft Auto games like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, as well as PaRappa the Rapper 2 and Red Dead Revolver. There are also remastered versions of original Playstation 1 games like Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy VIII.

  • On your Playstation 4, select the Playstation Store icon and press X button on your controller.

Scroll up to Search and click X.

Tap right to scroll through the list of results.

Tap Add to Cart to buy the game.

What Is PlayStation 4 Backwards Compatibility?

Backwards compatibility refers to the ability for new technology to be able to still use older software. In the case of the Playstation 4, it’s the ability to play PS1, PS2 or PS3 games on the system so you don’t need to dig out your old games consoles to play old favorites.

In the past, the PS2 was backwards compatible with the original Playstation 1, while one launch version of the Playstation 3 would allow you to play Playstation 2 games. The answer for PlayStation 4 backwards compatibility is a little bit more complicated than this though.

Remastered Games Are an Alternative for PlayStation 4 Users

Numerous classic games have been released in a remastered form. These typically add extra features or improved graphics so they’re not the same as the original game but they are often better.

On the Playstation 4, you can play classics like Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII and PaRappa the Rapper in remastered forms available on the Playstation Store.

playstation, backwards, compatibility, play, games

You can also buy remastered collections such as Spyro Reignited Trilogy, and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Games like these two are available in a physical form so if you prefer to use discs, you can do so and put them in your PlayStation 4 console like a regular PlayStation 4 game. With new remastered games coming out regularly, it’s worth researching whether your old favorite is available this way.

PS5 Pro and Slim: everything we’ve heard about Sony’s future console upgrades

Is a mid-life hardware refresh for the Playstation 5 on the cards?

When will the PS5 get a hardware upgrade? Well, it took three years for the Playstation 4 to get a new version but as you’ll hear, a slightly different version of the Playstation 5 might not be that tardy to join the latest console generation. We know know that Sony is going to launch Project Q, a PS5-dependent gaming handheld later in 2023. That means the PS5 Pro or Slim is likely to be with us in 2024 or 2025.

Following the launch of the PlayStation 4 in November 2013, the Playstation 4 Slim and higher-end Playstation 4 Pro both appeared in September 2016. The same was true of the Playstation 3, which saw another three-year gap between its launch in 2006 and the Slim version in 2009. If Sony follows the same timetable, we could see a PS5 Slim and/or PS5 Pro in late 2023. And, to be completist, the 2004 PS2 Slim followed the 2000 Playstation 2 and the 2000 PSOne followed the 1994/5 original Playstation.

A Slim model could see a smaller, cheaper, cooler-running Playstation 5 based on the latest chip fabrication technology, while a beefed-up Pro version, capable of higher resolutions and frame rates, might also be on the horizon, too.

Additional reporting by Dan Grabham

Is the PS5 Slim actually just the same console with a detachable disk drive?

Recent rumours from TheLeak have suggested a redesigned PS5 is on the way – but it may not actually be called PS5 Slim. The goal will still be to reduce size and weight, though. A die shrink (smaller, more efficient version of an existing CPU) could help bring power consumption down. The tweaked chassis should also be able to stand vertically without the need for a stand.

Insider Gaming suggests that a PS5 Slim will actually be a version of the original PS5 with a detachable disk drive, meaning that the original disk version of the console would be phased out. It’s suggested this could indeed be coming in late 2023 and is a very strong possibility in our book. This would not be a replacement for the PS5 Pro, which it seems is coming at a later date.

What could be different in a new PS5 version?

While it’s hard to glean any information about unannounced tech that’s in any way accurate, there are numerous rumours that Sony has various pieces of hardware in the works (and we now know that Project Q, as well as some Playstation Earbuds, are coming). One, published by French website Phonandroid, quotes an anonymous source that the PS5 Pro will come with liquid cooling and possibly a new AMD APU to provide a performance boost. However, the source claimed it would be coming in just a few weeks, and that was at the end of January so that’s a dead duck.

When it comes to the Playstation 6, we may already have an inkling on who’ll be handling its design. The latest murmurs point to long-time Sony exec Mark Cerny being at the helm of Playstation development, which naturally includes the creation of the PS6. Cerny certainly has some experience when it comes to brainstorming PlayStations – he was lead designer of both the PlayStation 4 and PS5. As for a PS6 launch date? We’re looking at 2027 or 2028 we believe.

Anyway, back to the Playstation 5 console, which has already seen a few changes. Firmware updates have delivered the ability to output variable refresh rate video, while at the hardware level, the August launch of the CFI-1202 model shaved 300g off the version with the Blu-ray drive. We’d expect a Slim model to reduce the weight by even more.

The current PS5’s internal chipset is said to be rather large. A die shrink from the original 7nm processors to the new 3nm fabrication technology being touted by TMSC, the company that actually makes the AMD-designed chips, could save a lot of space. Because the chips would run cooler, they could use a smaller heatsink, in turn letting Sony shrink the console. Fingers crossed any such move would also cut down on noise as well.

Previous Playstation generations have seen dramatic physical changes between the original and slim versions. The PlayStation 4 did stay fairly true to the console on which it was based, though, so it’s a toss-up as to whether Sony will keep things similar, or go for a different design altogether.

PS5 Pro: what do we want?

As we saw from the Playstation 4 Pro, a mid-life upgrade is all about running the same games but making them better, offering higher resolutions and faster frame rates.

While 8K TVs are now available, the sheer processing power needed to push that many processed, lit and textured pixels probably rules it out for at least another console generation. With that in mind, a Pro version of the PS5 is more likely to concentrate on getting 4K really right. This means games that run at that resolution without dynamically dropping it when a scene becomes complicated, and a rock-solid 60fps frame rate.

The PS5’s current eight-core CPU is based on AMD’s Zen 2 architecture from 2019. A move to the current Zen 4 could see greater processing ability as well as increased power efficiency, while retaining backwards compatibility – though games might need patches to fully support the new chips. It might also force developers to relearn the PS5’s underlying architecture. A clock speed increase, like the one seen between PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro, is more likely.

The same goes for the graphics unit, which uses AMD’s RDNA 2 from 2020. Increasing the number of compute units and upping the clock speed could have a dramatic effect on its ability to push polygons and render visual effects.

Increasing the console’s 16GB of shared memory would allow it to store more information without having to bother the SSD, which although fast, isn’t running at the same speed as the RAM. Modern PC games are starting to demand more than 16GB of memory when totalled across the main and graphics allocations, so a rise in RAM capacity isn’t out of the question – as long as developers continued to support the original hardware.

How much could the new PS5 Pro and Slim models cost?

The Playstation 4 cost 399/£349 at launch, and was followed up by the 299/£259 PlayStation 4 Slim (399/£309 if you went for the model with a 1TB hard disk). The PlayStation 4 Pro then turned up for 399/£349 – a competitive price, given the performance upgrade over the OG model.

When the PS5 arrived, you could spend 399/£360 on a digital-only console, or 499/£450 on one with a Blu-ray disc drive. Sony then raised those by around /£50, blaming global inflation and exchange rates. Recently, however, we’ve seen the price for PS5 game bundles drop a little to around 559/£500, and this pricing volatility makes guessing the price of any Slim and Pro variants a bit tricky.

We’re betting 670-740 or £550-600 is possible for the Pro, making it a serious investment. The PS5 Slim should fare a little better, though.

It’ll need to compete with Microsoft’s popular Xbox Series S, which is available for 299/£249. That said, Microsoft’s head of gaming Phil Spencer told CNBC that Series S consoles are sold at a loss in the hope that gamers will buy lots of games to play on it. 370/£299 is our estimate right now.

When can we expect a PS 5 Pro?

We have seen some reports that suggests a PS5 Pro may hit shelves around late 2023 or 2024. That’s a long time to wait, but before that we may see a PS5 with a detachable disc drive. In a tweet from Insider Gaming owner Tom Henderson, they say that a number of test kits with disc drives are in the hands of a select few and “works flawlessly.” This overhauled PS5 is set to be released in late 2023, rumours suggest but we think it’s way more likely for 2024 or 2025.

A 2023 release date would cause chaos for sales given that Final Fantasy 16 is due soon and Spider-Man 2 will be with us later in the year. Again, we think it highly likely that any new Playstation console won’t be with us before late 2024, something suggested elsewhere as well but we might get the PS5 with detachable disk drive we mentioned above.

In an interview between Japanese games magazine Famitsu and Sony platform experience EVP Hideaki Nishino in 2022, Famitsu noted how a PlayStation 4 Pro came three years after the release of the PlayStation 4. In response, Nishino said: “We believe that it will be a very important time for the platform as well. I hope you will look forward to next year.” Is this confirmation of a PS5 Pro for 2023? Definitely not. But is it the best we have for now? Absolutely.

Sony Playstation 2 GPU 90nm

The Playstation 2 GPU 90nm was a performance-segment gaming console graphics solution by Sony, launched on May 26th, 2005. Built on the 90 nm process, and based on the EEGS-90nm graphics processor, in its CXD2953AGB variant, the device does not support DirectX. The EEGS-90nm graphics processor is a relatively small chip with a die area of only 86 mm² and 54 million transistors. It features 16 pixel shaders and 2 vertex shaders, 8 texture mapping units, and 16 ROPs. Sony includes 4 MB eDRAM memory, which are connected using a 2560-bit memory interface. The GPU is operating at a frequency of 147 MHz, memory is running at 150 MHz. Its power draw is rated at 45 W maximum. The console’s dimensions are 230 mm x 28 mm x 152 mm, and it features a igp cooling solution. Its price at launch was 199 US Dollars.

Graphics Processor

GPU Name EEGS-90nm GPU Variant CXD2953AGB Foundry Sony Process Size 90 nm Transistors 54 million Density 622.1K / mm² Die Size 86 mm²

Graphics Card

Release Date May 26th, 2005 Generation Console GPU (Sony) Production End-of-life Launch Price 199 USD

Theoretical Performance. Board Design

Length 230 mm 9.1 inches Width 28 mm 1.1 inches Height 152 mm 6 inches Weight 0.90 kg (1.98 lbs) TDP 45 W Outputs No outputs

Console Notes

EEGS-90nm GPU Notes

Playstation 2: SCPH-3000x SCPH-3500x SCPH-3700x SCPH-3900x SCPH-5000x CXD2944GB = EEGS: 180nm, 188 mm², 53.5 million transistors

Playstation 2 Slim: SCPH-700Xx SCPH-7500x SCPH-7700x CXD2953AGB = EEGS: 90nm, 86 mm², 53.5 million transistors

playstation, backwards, compatibility, play, games

Playstation 2 Slim: SCPH-7900x SCPH-9000x CXD2976GB = EERDRAMSPU2IOP CXD2980BGB = GS: 65nm, 60 mm², 53.5 million transistors

Parallel rendering processor with embedded DRAM “Graphics Synthesizer” (GS) clocked at 147.456 MHz

PlayStation vs Xbox backwards compatibility #ps5 #ps4 #ps3 #ps2 #ps1 #xbox #xbox360 #xboxseriesx

Programmable CRT controller (PCRTC) for output

Pixel pipelines: 16 without any texture mapping units (TMU), however half of pixel pipelines can perform texturing, so fillrate is either 16 pixels per clock with untextured 2400 Mpixels; or 8 pixels per clock with 1200 megapixels with bilinear texturing, and 1200 megatexels (bilinear).

Video output resolution: Variable from 256×224 to 1920×1080 4 MB of embedded DRAM as video memory (an additional 32 MB of main memory can be used as video memory for off-screen textures); 48 gigabytes per second peak bandwidth

playstation, backwards, compatibility, play, games

Texture buffer bandwidth: 9.6 GB/s

Frame buffer bandwidth: 38.4 GB/s

eDRAM bus width: 2560-bit (1024-bit write, 1024-bit read, 512-bit read/write)

Pixel configuration: RGB:alpha, 24:8, 15:1; 16-, 24-, or 32-bit Z-buffer

Display color depth: 32-bit (RGBA: 8 bits each) Dedicated connection to main CPU and VU1

Overall pixel fillrate: 16 × 147 Mpix/s = 2.352 gigapixel/s 1.2 gigapixel/s (with Z-buffer, alpha, and texture) With no texture, flat shaded: 2.4 Gpix/s (75,000,000 32-pixel raster triangles) With 1 full texture (diffuse map), Gouraud shaded: 1.2 Gpix/s (37,750,000 32-bit pixel raster triangles) With 2 full textures (diffuse map and specular, alpha, or other), Gouraud shaded: 0.6 Gpix/s (18,750,000 32-bit pixel raster triangles)

Texture fillrate: 1.2 Gtexel/s

Sprite drawing rate: 18.75 million/s (8×8 pixels)

Particle drawing rate: 150 million/s

HOW TO PLAY PS3/PS2/PS1 GAMES ON PS4 | BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE PS5?

Polygon drawing rate: 75 million/s (small polygon) 50 million/s (48-pixel quad with Z and A) 30 million/s (50-pixel triangle with Z and A) 25 million/s (48-pixel quad with Z, A and T) 16 million/s (75-pixel triangle with Z, A, T and fog) VESA (maximum 1280×1024 pixels) 3 rendering paths (path 1, 2 and 3)

Graphics Synthesizer as found in SCPH-390xx GS effects include: read-write textures, emboss bump mapping, Dot3 bump mapping (normal mapping), multiple-light sources, per-vertex lighting, volumetric fog, mipmapping, LOD, spherical harmonic lighting, high dynamic range (HDR) rendering, motion blur, heat haze, bloom, depth of field, shadow volumes, shadow mapping, lightmapping, environment mapping, render-to-texture, alpha blending, alpha test, destination alpha test, depth test, scissor test, transparency effects, framebuffer effects, post-processing effects, perspective-correct texture mapping, edge-AAx2 (poly sorting required), bilinear, trilinear texture filtering, multi-pass, palletizing (6:1 ratio 4-bit; 3:1 ratio 8-bit), NURBS, Bezier curves, Bezier surfaces, B-splines, offscreen drawing, framebuffer mask, flat shading, Gouraud shading, cel shading, dithering, texture swizzling. Multi-pass rendering ability

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