PlayStation 4 Won’t Play PlayStation 3 Games Natively, Coming This Holiday

By Ishaan . February 20, 2013 . 5:30pm

gaikaiSony Computer Entertainment confirmed that the games you have for PlayStation 3 won’t work with PlayStation 4. The good news is Sony plans on using Gaikai, a cloud computing company they acquired, to potentially solve the problem.


PlayStation 4 owners will be able to stream PS3 games to their console using Gaikai. Additionally, Sony also mentioned that PSOne and PlayStation 2 games would be made available for streaming as well.


The PlayStation 4 is scheduled for release this holiday. Sony have not yet announced a release date or price for the console.


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  • puchinri

    I don’t want potential, I want results! >:’O
    Sounds like they have it figured out though. ouo

    • Gekokujou

      True that! What’s the point in having potential, if you don’t even use it? They should’ve learnt that lesson with the PS3.

      • puchinri

        I was thinking the same thing. x’D

  • I know people are gonna complain about this, but as I’ve said in other places, I think I prefer them not trying to find out a way to work in true BC. They tried it with the PS3, and everyone knows about the less than stellar results of it all.

    Though on that note, I wonder if, instead, digital games will work fine? Disk, sure, but if it’s already gonna be digital…

    • Pyrotek85

      The problem isn’t whether it’s from a disc or digital, it’s how the software is written. PS3 games for example are written for the cell processor, which has a different set of commands and capabilities than the x86 architecture the PS4 will use. The BD drive will still be able to read PS3 discs technically, it just won’t be able to natively run the software that’s stored there. So unless a developer actually goes and ports a digital PS3 game to use PS4’s hardware, it will have to be streamed since the hardware just won’t be there to make it run.

      • R6ex

        Just don’t make me pay for a PS3 game that I’ve already bought.

  • DesmaX

    Without cell, there’s no way it would run PS3 games. Nice that they found a way

    • Zenthos

      It would be nice if they allowed a way for you to register your own ps3 game to stream to play on the ps4.

      • Pyrotek85

        It’d be easy to do IMO, just insert disc, authenticate that’s legit (like PS3s do now I’m assuming) then stream the game.

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    So this is what they meant when they said PS3 games won’t run natively on the PS4…
    I just lost my PSN account so I don’t really know how to feel about this… I guess as long as the digital games are cheap…

  • 07thCrow

    Why do I have this horrible premonition that we’ll have to pay for those streamed games?

    • gold163

      Because you will. Cloud servicing is not free; servers are expensive to maintain.

      • Guest

        Or they could just use a similar feature like the UMD passport and use playstation network to register your ps3 games and give you access to the full game on the ps4.

        • gold163

          The UMD Passport was more of a promotion than a feature, given that it was done specifically to appeal to Japanese customers (the PSP was still doing well in Japan, whereas it was a dead console in the west).

          It’s not out of the question, but the demographic for the PS4 is much larger than that for the Vita, and it wouldn’t make sense for Sony to do the same thing with PS3 games in my opinion. Honestly, the Vita needed everything it could get in order to get people to buy it. That the promotion only happened on a local scale in Japan speaks volumes.

    • Testsubject909

      Because of how they handled backward compatibility with the PSVita and it’s lack of hardware supporting UMDs?

      Or their focus on digital copies of games you may have previously purchased such as PS1 classics and PS2 classics, though the previous one applies less because you already have the means of playing them physically with your PS3?

      Valid complaint. I thought I heard that they’d have it so that you put in your PS3 game, the PS4 read what game it is and then you access that game via their server.

      Idea way. I don’t really care, I’m in the camp of “Keeping my PS3 anyways”.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Wow what if you loss your PSn account or not always connected? wait I’m a otaku I keep my stuff

    • gold163

      NO GAME FOR YOU!!!

    • MrSirFeatherFang

      I know… I just lost my PSN account…

    • cameron forsyth

      same thing if you lost your credit card, Though luck, get a new one. and you shouldn’t have lost it in the first place. i know it’s rather dicky but the account system is rather generous as it is. any more kind and the potential for account hacking is more than a possibility.

      now a days as long as someone knows my email address they can go through the forgotten password stuff and right into my email account. if your not always connected then buy the classics collections sony has been insistent on releasing

  • Raiyu

    Expected, and I was prepared for this.

    Doesn’t bother me though.

  • benhofb

    Hm. As excited and pumped up I was at the beginning of the presentation, I feel kind of… used. So to speak. I feel like Sony showed enough skin to make our hormones go wild and dirty thoughs to run through our heads, but wont let us reach full satisfaction until E3. That aint’ right teasing a guy like that…

    All innuendos aside, I am kind of “meh” towards the announcement. We have no idea what the console is going to look like, if it will play disks of some sort, or how much the blasted thing will cost.

    I am all for the Vita integration, but I highly doubt you will see me run out and buy a PS4 soley for this feature. And as AMAZING as the Gaikai service sounds, I hope they don’t charge a rediculous amount to play games streamed through the service.

    I personally hope that E3 will be better. Sony needs to show off that new “PlayStation Ecosystem” to boost the PS4 and Vita together if they want to succeed, IMO.

  • Randgriz

    Its not like im going to be throwing away my PS3 anytime soon.

    • ShawnOtakuSomething


    • Brandon001

      Actually plan i buying another once mine goes out.

    • Romangelo

      It’s not like your PS3 will be with you forever…

      • You lie!


        I still need to decide if to pick up a cheap PS3 now, or when the PS4 comes out and the price really hits rock bottom.

      • Is what people keep saying about my NES and it still works and I still play it. Dont think it will last forever but a really long time. Cant play Gun-Nac or Bayou Billy otherwise. Only wish I could still use the Zapper with my new TV though.
        I had this system since I was 6 so I’m sure the PS3 can last at least 10 years. Or if not, there are a few places around that repair current gen consoles.

  • XYZ_JolteonZ980

    At least it has a scheduled release window, hope no bc means they can get it to cost 249.99 though id pay up to 499 for it.

  • Spirit Macardi

    There’s some potential issues with this: First, would this be pay per game, or a subscription service? Second, would all PS3 games be available, or just select ones that they deem fit? In addition to that, would the games be available all the time? Then third is the question of what happens if you already own the games digitally.

    How is it that backwards compatibility has gone from something to be expected of a new console to a mere afterthought, if that?

    • Asclepius

      from what i’ve heard it’d be only for select titles.. but hopefully gaikai will keep on updating their library..

      EDIT: Sony is the parent company of gaikai, so hopefully any digitally purchased games will be available for free..


    • Zeik56

      Because the game’s industry is struggling and Sony already learned last gen that cramming in all kinds of features and charging whatever price they want will not actually get people to buy their consoles.

      BC is nice, but it honestly is an afterthought. There are much more important features and hardware to include in a console and if they’re trying to keep costs down that’s a pretty obvious thing to ditch. It’s a shame, but it’s better than skimping on main system hardware instead.

    • Travis Nolen

      the SNES wasnt backwards compatible and that was great.
      the N64 wasnt either. nor was the gamecube.
      because sony did this ONCE with the ps2 its apparently a expected thing now.
      doesnt make sense to me

  • Leo121

    So you mean tell me I have to repurchase my games from the store, thanks Sony. Psp go all over again.

  • WyattEpp

    I honestly feel bad for anyone who was expecting PS3 backwards compatibility. This was a foregone conclusion the moment they chose an idiosyncratic architecture back in 2005.

  • Flandre Scarlet

    I really can’t see this streaming service taking off. It seems heavily connection dependent and there’s room for all sorts of problems with latency involved. There’s also the worry about charge: I’m almost certain Sony will charge for this, and I’m not really sure I want to pay for it.

    That said, i’m keeping my PS3 around just because of this. Nothing about the PS4 excites me in any way but this was one of the more disappointing features of the presentation.

    • Testsubject909

      Don’t forget server problems and maintenance cutting off access to certain games or just cutting you off from the streaming service entirely.

      There are some definite hiccups with online games and any problems we’d see with MMORPGs would be found with these due to their online nature. Worst case scenario, we see a Diablo 3 fiesta all over again.

  • I wasnt planning on selling my PS3 anyways, so I honestly couldn’t care less about this.

  • Zenthos

    Hahaha! Nice one….. wait… your serious? *eye twitch* Do any of you at sony WANT the ps4 to sell? Why the hell doesn’t it allow backwards compatibility with ps3 games? Why? There are plenty of games still coming out for ps3 that are going to be supported for +5 years and your telling me that if I want to play ps3 games after I buy a ps4 I cant?

    Oh wait, il be able to stream it! <———(sarcastic tone)
    And buy all my motherfuging 60$ ps3 games again!

    And since its streamed games, I wont be able to let people borrow my games! Motherfuging-tastic~!

    By the look of things, the ps4 may prevent you from buying used ps4 games games as well, since they are using a streaming service for ps3 games. Since they know by the time the ps4 is out people will mainly be buying used ps3 games, they want to make every bloody penny from their consumers.

    Replyers*But Zenthos, all you have to do is keep your ps3*

    Me* Thats exactly what I plan on doing. Il just keep my ps3 and wont even consider getting a ps4 until sony gets real!

    • CirnoLakes

      >Why the hell doesn’t it allow backwards compatibility with ps3 games? Why?

      Because it is on x86 architecture. The same architecture you are probably browsing this site on.

    • Zeik56

      Because nobody bought the PS3 after they removed backward compatibility. /sarcasm

      One of the biggest issues people had with the PS3 at launch was its ridiculous starting price. If they want to keep the PS4 at a reasonable price this time anyone with half a brain should realize it’s not there precisely because they want the system to sell.

      • Zenthos

        You answered your own question to why nobody bought the ps3 at launch, for its ridiculous price, not the backwards compatibility. And no, adding backwards compatibility doesn’t boost the price. PS3 low ram with Backwards compatibility 600$ vs ps3 250gb 250$. Im pretty sure it doesn’t require 350$ for backwards compatibility in order to upgrade a model with out one. Thanks for proving my point further!

        • Testsubject909

          It’s mainly because of the Cell processor, much like how they had problems making a proper emulator of the Emotion chip on the Cell processor, they’d have trouble making an emulator on their new processor for the PS4.

          The alternate is to just plug the hardware straight into the machine but that’s not very cost effective, if anything it drives the price up and was in part the reason why the PS3 had such a high price, because of it’s backward compatibility via hardware.

          With no proper emulator to use on the console alone and with no means of slapping in a cell processor in a cost effective way. Their choice was to go with online streaming services utilizing a cloud server they own.

          While I, personally, dislike the idea. I still think they found a nice way to bypass some of that problem and keep the cost down which would make the console more approachable for many and far more reasonable in pricing.

          And I have no plans on tossing out my PS3, so I’m good.

          Also. Pause. Breathe. Read what you wrote, what replies you had and read yourself again.

          You’re not doing a good job on your end.

        • Zeik56

          That is one serious logical fallacy you have going on there. Console prices reduce over time for a variety of reasons (reduced manufacturing costs, etc), backwards compatibility clearly is not the only reason that the PS3’s price currently sits in the $250-300 range. No one ever argued it added $350 to the price.

          However the backward compatibility hardware absolutely costs money (it’s ridiculous to say it doesn’t, it’s not like it’s free) and its removal was absolutely a factor in the Slim originally hitting that $300 price point. Not the only reason, but definitely a notable one.

          They’ve honestly got a very slim price window for the PS4. If they don’t hit within the $400 price point there’s going to be a lot of complaining. The PS3 already proved that good hardware won’t outweigh a reasonable price for a lot of people, so adding any more cost to that thing would more than likely force them to skimp on hardware over bumping the price. Based on the specs so far they’re already likely to take a loss on it.

          I certainly wouldn’t object to bc, it’s a nice feature to have, but it’s not worth sacrificing actual important hardware for.

    • it does have backwards capability, but its not disc base, but through the PlayStation Cloud.[

  • evilmajikman

    Kind of sucks that I have to buy everything. AGAIN.

    • gold163

      If we want to get pedantic, you won’t *have* to….

    • MrRobbyM

      OR you can keep your PS3.

      • brian

        It could be on its last legs and he’d prefer not to get a new/used one.

        • MrRobbyM

          Then get a PS2. That plays Ps1 and PS2 games. Or Maybe Sony will let you stream games you already bought through PSN for free. Who knows?

          • brian

            But not PS3.
            Some people a few years down the road may have PS3s that give out because of age but still want to play those games they own physically, so they replace it.
            For people emphasizing on convenience, this seems like an arbitrary move.
            They could cut down some on graphical capabilities to give it backwards compatibility.
            Apparently this streaming thing is really expensive so it is likely that it’ll be subscription-based.
            And also about PS1 on PS2, working memory cards for PS1 are a pain to find considering I went through 4 (iirc) that all never worked for me except one that gave out briefly after getting it, I guess because of age.

          • MrRobbyM

            It’s not a matter of lowering the graphical capabilities. It needs a cell to run games properly on disc.

            Either way. It’s a decision made to enhance the future of Sony. If it comes with some things like losing BC, something minor if you ask me, then so be it. We’re just gonna have to deal with it.

          • MogCakes

            The reaction you’re seeing in many of the comments here is basically people refusing to deal with it and throwing a fit.

          • MrRobbyM

            So I’ve realized.

          • brian

            Even if if weren’t a matter of lowering capabilities, they could’ve developed it with backwards compatibility as a main factor.
            I feel like they gave up on it completely without genuinely trying to add it back in.

          • MrRobbyM

            Okay. Let me put it this way. Taking out PS2 BC on the PS3 lowered the price of the PS3. That much is for sure. Can you imagine how much more expensive it would be to put a cell in every PS4? The last thing Sony wants to do is make another mistake like they did last time and skyrocket the price to some unimaginable amount and end up with another gen like this, or worse.

            At least you’re getting GaiKai. They could easily just say “fuck you, keep your PS3s and stop complaining!”

    • cameron forsyth

      or you could have just observed sonys attempt of pushing the digital download and went along with it, i’m surprised no one saw this coming. or just keep your ps3.

  • DrakeClawfang

    I will note I wrote this last week…I hate being right sometimes.

    • cameron forsyth

      1) if you already own ps2 games then you should already own a ps2 so there is no need.

      2) it has been stated by sony that they removed the ps2 backward compatibility to cut the cost of its extremly high price.

      3) ultimatly this price cut was intended so then people didn’t have to pay an extra £100 to play the last generation of games that they can already play on their ps2. if you really wanted to play ps2 games on your ps3 because your ps2 was slowly dying or broken then why don’t you just by the 60Gb model which has complete backward compatiblity with ps1, ps2 with hd upscaling built in.

      4) you seem to be ignoring the new mass, not every gamer was around during the ps2 or ps1 era so there is something to be gained by introducing great games newcomers might have missed. because now a-days the only way to get a ps2 classic without a HD mix is to cross your fingers and find one in the dying preowned market. thats why the games are being released so then they can still be accessible to people who have never played it. it’s the same reason why the ps2 lived so long after the ps3 hit.

      5) the ps3 can play ps1 games.

      6) your allegations hold no grounds with no definite sources to back your statements about sony and other companies intentions

  • CirnoLakes

    Yeah, that’s to be expected. It has radically different architecture.

    That cloud computing fix won’t really be a fix for some time, though. About the only country that is capable of relying on cloud computing for their gaming needs right now is South Korea. They have the speed to make that feasible. My country, the United States, doesn’t.

    In fact for most countries to make cloud gaming feasible, Moore’s Law will have to start applying significantly to internet speed through the globe. It has a long way to go because for such a thing you’ll want to have around over 500 megabyes down. Maybe even a gigabyte.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    While i can see this a big problem for some other gamers, but well, i will just enjoy playing my PS3 games on my good old PS3.^_^
    Being a console collector had it’s merit after all.^_^

    • CirnoLakes

      Console collecting has had its merit since the 80s.

      I don’t have a single console I sold that I don’t regret. And a lot of recent year I’ve spend re-collecting them. Even the SEGA-CD has games I love like Keio Flying Squadron.

      • Anzac

        Keio Flying Squadron needs a comeback, I love that series.

      • Pyrotek85

        For sure, there was a period of time I hadn’t touched my gameboy or snes but I’m glad I never sold them, I’d be hating myself now lol.

  • FetusZero

    It does suck, but it’ll be the same as before.. While PS4 is newly released, I’ll game my PS3 with my PS2 still connected and ready to play as well. 3-4 years later when (if) I buy a PS4, I’ll game my PS4 with my PS3 and my PS2 both still connected and ready to play.

    My PS2 is probably turned on more often than my PS3 anyway, and it’ll be the same once PS4 comes out.

  • Göran Isacson

    Welp- I guess that means I’ll just have to hang on to my good old PS3 then… that is, when I actually get around to buy a PS4. Whenever that will be. Most likely not any time soon.

  • Khoo Neekang Kazuki

    Erm can someone explain about how this streaming works to me?

  • N M

    What a blowjob solution. News flash SONY: not everyone has a 100 mbs connection to stream shit.

    • MogCakes

      Too effing bad for you. It was either this or no BC at all. It’s physically impossible to add true BC without raising the price even further.

    • Testsubject909

      True. I don’t have one and I certainly have no interest in stream gaming for such specific reasons as well as general bandwidth cost considering how much data is being streamed when you view something in HD.

      But if you ask me, this sounds like the best they could do for the moment for PS3 backward compatibility. Though I see no reason why they couldn’t at the very least have PS1 backward compatibility or maybe even PS2 backward compatibility.

      If people can make illegal emulators that works for both of these, you’d think the company that made those consoles would be able to make a legit emulator to work on their PS4, especially now that this new Playstation console is going way higher in terms of strength then the PS2 (And yes, I know, emulating something takes way more processing power and whatnot then just having the hardware set up for it, again why I say, I’d think the PS4 should be more then potent enough to be able to emulate the PS2 effectively without requiring cloud computing).

      • Tatsuya1221

        Technically for sony at least, it should require far less power than a illegal emulator(they aren’t tecnically illegal btw), remember most of those emulators are reverse engineered, since they do not know the inner workings of the system they are emulating, reverse engineering will always require far more power.

        It should be technically feasible for sony to make a ps4 that can run ps3 games with a fairly high accuracy (the cell processor is inferior to the ps4’s processor in every way if i’m not mistaken), but it would require alot of coding and not only that, sony cannot make money off of it that way.

        Honestly, i think it would be harder for sony to emulate the ps2 with these specs than the ps3, due to the GS’s bandwidth limitations.

    • Mike Ventura


  • I still have my PS2, and I’ll most likely have my PS3. It’s a shame, but hey, I bought the system to play the games FOR that system. Not to play my older games.

    All in all, much better than how the PS3 started. It came with hopes only to disappoint and make us mad. PS4 was straight to the point.

  • Christopher Nunes

    What do they mean to “stream” PS1, 2, and 3 games to the console? Sorry if this is common knowledge, but I like to know.

    • Online streaming, through the Internet. The games will be played on a remote machine elsewhere in the world and the visuals/sound streamed to your PS3, with your controller inputs relayed back.

      • Christopher Nunes

        You mean PS4, not PS3, right?

        Hmm… thanks. I got a clearly image now, but does that mean I have to be ONLINE all the time to play the old PS games and not have them downloaded or save to the PS4?

        In my opinion it’s great to be able to play most, if not all, PS games on the PS4 this way but at the same time it sucks that our game discs can’t be played on the system itself to save time and play it right away.

        Well I still have the PS1 (somewhere in the house), PS2, and PS3 so it’s not a problem. Oh, do you know where I can get a Japanese PS2? I know they stopped making them a few months ago but I have a couple of Japanese PS2 games and I need a Japanese PS2 to play them.

        Any recommendations?

      • brian

        PS3 or PS4?

  • I’m not mad about not having BC on Day 1, that’s why I still have the systems, but the fact that the PS2 has stopped being produced and that mine probably won’t last too long worries me. I mean, I’m sure I’ll still find some around, but it’s just a lot more easier to have it all in one place. So, I’m glad we’ll have it….eventually :)

  • Godman

    I guess my PS3 is going to stay on life-support until BC is not an issue

  • fireemblembeast

    Surprise, surprise! >_>
    Just like how the PS3 (I have) doesn’t play PS2 games and the PS vita doesn’t play PSP games! One point for Nintendo. However, the Sony systems are always region-free, so one point for Sony. Although I’d rather not be able to play imports than have to buy 4 [expensive] systems when on the Nintendo side it would be [a cheaper] 2!
    Seriously, I want to play a lot of PS2 and PSP games but I also await good PS Vita games, and I REALLY don’t want to have to buy them all! >:I
    [s]Greedy bastards…[/s]

    • But the PSV DOES play PSP games.

      It just doesn’t play UMDs.

      • Testsubject909

        Pretty much this. As for PS2 games. I’m lucky I got one that can do some but, honestly, I just play my PS2 games on my PS2.

  • brian

    I think they could reel in some extra people on the fence about getting this, if it had physical backwards compatibility.
    I am disappoint.

  • KingGunblader

    Disappointing, but not necessarily a dealbreaker. Need to see more of this supposed streaming.

    • s07195

      Hear hear.

  • I do plan on getting a PS4 but I’m not getting rid of my PS3 because I don’t want to have to pay for my games all over again.

    • Testsubject909

      *Looks at his PS1, PS2, PS3, Xbox, N64, You get the idea*

      Yeah… Wise move.

    • badmoogle

      I’ll be doing the same.In fact it’s much more likely to buy another PS3 (just in case my current one dies) before i decide to buy a PS4.

      Also i just don’t trust streaming right now but i hope GaiKai proves me wrong.

  • gamefreak86

    If you want another hard

  • Lazulis

    Um…no thanks. My apt’s router can barely handle a LoL game without lagging a little. I like Steam…and even then the downloading takes foreeeeverrrrr.

  • Testsubject909

    I’d rather backward compatibility set in the console itself. Stream gaming is a hassle mainly due to the stability of my internet access.

  • Lucky_x

    Honestly, I don’t care. Whatever is easier for them. My PS3 is already BC, and I don’t plan on packing it up for a long time. Though I could see why people want BC.

  • Romangelo

    Great. I have to re-buy all the games digitally… No, now I can’t own it digitally but it’s cloudy!! really? spend money on something in the air?

  • sylontack

    Why make it unavailable if we are being given a streaming alternative anyway.
    I hate the very concept of streaming… Games sound even worse.

    • Mr_SP

      More accurately, they’re making streaming available because it’s unavailable.

  • No PS3 is one thing, but no PS1 or PS2 is just a big f-you to fans. The systems powerful enough to brute force emulate either of them, no extra hardware required.

  • Isaac Newton

    Ahem attention everyone may I know what is this news about and if this is not related to this articl please inform me or delete it thank you :D

  • Tenno Seremel

    >stream games
    (~_~) Are you even sure you have enough servers and bandwidth to handle all of your players, Sony?

  • Tatsuya1221

    Well this guarantees i won’t be getting one, it’s probably the worst thing sony could have done imo, all care for the sony brand i had is lost.

  • notforsale

    I don’t care about backwards compatibility, what kind of gamer throws away their PS3?!

  • Shariest

    What about us who have 1-3 mb net? I’m slowly growing sick whit all the loading and clouding -_-‘

  • Leo121

    I have to repurchase my games from the store. NO THANK YOU!

  • Mr Snausages

    What I think is something important, will the PSN recognize user accounts and previously purchased (digitally) content from the PS3/2/1 era and allow access to those games for free. This shouldn’t be a problem as the content licenses should be linked to user accounts.

    Then, will there be any type of “credit” for physical media to allow PS3 content access on the PS4 for those who own them, but their PS3 craps out. Its both good and bad that the support is there, unfortunately its streaming.

    There are some issues to be worked out or users will have to will need to feel comfortable re-purchasing games and DLC for PS3 content they already own in physical form.

  • Bob Stockalockapoulos

    (Not surprised, but still…)


  • so…its like…emulation software?

  • Steven Higgins

    Man, just when I find a PS3 game I actually like (Ni No Kuni) they go and pull this crap.

  • cameron forsyth

    well can we expect ps2 support? because all ps3 versions are capable of playing ps1 games.

    well regardless i’m happy that i took up on Sonys attempt at pushing digital downloads. now i can play my psp library on my vita without any hassle.

  • sam_games

    with sony more is less ; compare to ps2 ,ps3 has very little quality games,there are barely 4 or 5 games worth buying per year , if game producers are struggling to keep up with ps3 , i doubt sincerely it gets better with ps4 without BC is just irrelevant . actually im planning to get ps2 again lol

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