The prices of several PS3 games have appeared on the PS5 store, leading fans to speculate that backward compatibility for some PlayStation titles is on the way.
PS3 games listed on the PS5 store usually redirect players to the trial page of PlayStation Now, Sony’s cloud subscription service that lets you stream older titles on the latest generation of hardware.
However, fans have spotted some PS3 games listed on the store with new price tags in place of the PlayStation Now logo, including two games from the Prince of Persia series and Dead or Alive 5 (thanks, VGC).
The games can’t actually be purchased, although they can be added to your storefront wishlist. The new prices might suggest where the PS5 store, PlayStation Now, and the future of PS3 games are headed.
Analysis: is greater backward compatibility likely?
The sudden appearance of PS3 game price tags has many speculating, and hoping, that PS3 games will be available for purchase on the PS5 store in the near future. While Sony hasn’t confirmed anything yet, an overhaul to the PS5’s backward compatibility isn’t out of the question, given the wider changes coming to its adjacent PlayStation services.
Last week, it was reported that PS5 system architect Mark Cerny filed a patent suggesting the backward compatibility of the console would be extended, and that PlayStation Now subscription cards were being removed from sale in UK and US retail stores.
Add to that Bloomberg’s report from December that Sony is preparing to combine PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus into an Xbox Game Pass-style service, codenamed Spartacus. Offering several subscription tiers, the highest is rumored to let players stream a library of classic PS1, PS2, and PS3 games.
Those reports indicate PlayStation Now is reaching the end of its lifespan, as Sony prepares to sunset the subscription service for its successor. These unexpected price tags seen on the PS5 store recently might be the early signs of that change.
Extending the backward compatibility of the PS5 wouldn’t go amiss with fans, with players always keen to return to their favorite titles of past generations. While the PS5 can run the vast majority of PS4 games, its incompatibility with older generational titles is something of a sticking point.
Currently, the only way to play PS2 and PS3 games on Sony’s latest console is to stream them through PlayStation Now. A subscription service that only offers a handful of older titles, many players who are keen to dig into older games are understandably more attracted to the Xbox Series X, which lets you play Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox releases right out of the box, without needing to subscribe to any additional service.
If Sony is keen to match the backward compatibility of its main rival, adding PS3 games for purchase on the PS5 store would be a welcome step.
Dig further into Xbox’s backward compatibility journey in TRG’s interview with Series X development chief Jason Ronald.