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Specifically, those purchased legally through the PSN Store. It seems like it should, but I can't find a definitive answer anywhere.

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You might want to look at the following question: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/51577/… which possibly contains an answer that could be what are you looking for. –  acalypso Feb 21 '12 at 10:36

3 Answers 3

PS Vita won't support PSOne/archive titles at launch. You will need to wait.

From Gamespot:

Japanese PS Vita FAQ page reveals upcoming handheld will not play archived titles initially, says more details will be revealed later.

And from the Playstation Blog:

Q: Is PS Vita compatible with other PlayStation platform games like PS3, PS2, or PSP? Do you have any plan to support other PlayStation platforms in the future?
A: Users can play supported digital PSP titles and supported minis. In regard to PSone classics titles, we will announce further details when they are ready. PlayStation does not have plans to make PS Vita compatible with PS3 or PS2 titles at this point.

Update 1: PSOne Classics will come to the Vita August 28, 2012 (Joystiq)
Update 2: On August 28, PlayStation Vita firmware update 1.8 went live, enabling the Vita to play select PSOne Classics. IGN has a list of compatible PSOne games.

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Wow... wouldn't it be nice if they didn't lie to consumers. Pretty much my motivation for buying a PSVita. :| –  TZHX Feb 27 '12 at 14:48
    
@TZHX they didn't totally lie. The Vita is capable of playing PSone games, just not at launch. :p –  Elpezmuerto Feb 27 '12 at 14:50
    
Well, they're not even saying that they will be playable later. Just that there may be more details at an undetermined point. Especially when their marketting (on Amazon and eslewhere) has been giving a quite different message... very annoying. –  TZHX Feb 27 '12 at 15:04
    
why the hell wouldn't they support ps2 games? The vita is easily capable. This had really better not be some sort of money making scheme. Sony really can't afford any more bad publicity. –  user25690 May 19 '12 at 21:19

At this time, PSone titles are not supported by the Vita, along with the Turbografix and PS2 titles. According to some google translated pages from Japan, the PCEngine/Turbografix and PSone titles support will be finalized/announced at some point in the future. I imagine the only reason it's not supported yet is that they need to finish the emulator, as it should be a simple matter to run them on the vita hardware.

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It is worth noting the PS2 titles aren't even planned to be supported by the PS Vita - gametrailers.com/side-mission/2012/02/17/… –  acalypso Feb 23 '12 at 14:58
    
Since I answered this, PSone titles have now had support added, so this is no longer accurate. –  Kazriko May 9 '13 at 22:19

Whilst not helpful if you want to play whilst out and about, I believe you can play PS1 games using remote play through a PS3.

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That's correct. Anything you would've been able to play using remote play with a PSP should work on the Vita as well. Than means videos and music stored on the system, PSOne games and a few PS3 games –  JohnoBoy Feb 29 '12 at 12:05

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