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My wife and I have a Wii and Xbox 360/kinect we are looking to trade in at gamestop along with about 20 or so games. I'd like to pick up a PS4 and Last of Us.

One of the things that I think is really appealing is the whole playstation network thing where I can download older PS1 and PS2 games, and stream PS3 games. So, how does this work? For instance if I go to the PS website and search for final fantasy, FF:IX shows up with "buy download." How do I know if that would work for a PS4 or not? I can't seem to find out if one "download" works across all systems or not?

The nintendo website is actually significantly easier to understand than the sony one in this aspect, because there it says which consoles can download the game. The FAQ for PS4 doesn't really contain this information.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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    Ps1, 2 and 3 games don't work on a PS4. – TZHX Aug 2 '14 at 18:24
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    Thanks, that's kind of really, REALLY sucky. It seems like the game library is really limited for the PS4 at the moment :-/ – Matthew Aug 2 '14 at 19:24
  • There is some early news about the PS4 being able to emulate a PS2. I would not rely upon that fact, and it may involve bugfixing per-title to really be viable for anything. On the plus side, there are actually a great many HD re-releases of games that DON't encounter mountains of emulation issues. – Katana314 Dec 6 '15 at 15:42
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As TZHX already wrote in a comment: The PS4 is not backwards compatible, meaning you can only play Playstation 4 games on it. The only streaming capability it has is that you can stream PS4 games to a PS Vita. In the future, it will support streaming games of the PS3 and older platforms online via Playstation Now with a rental system. Only two days ago it went into open beta.

When you open the PS store on the PS4, only PS4 titles appear, so you cannot download PS1, PS2 or PS3 games at all. The only PS3 games that appear are PS Plus titles that you can claim for later download on a PS3, but cannot download on the PS4 itself.

The PS1 games available for download in the Playstation Store can only be played on PS3, Playstation Portable (PSP) and PS Vita, while the PS2 games from the store can only be played on a PS3.

Not all PS1 games are available to download on Vita, and some of them are region specific. Some also work when they're on the Vita but cannot be downloaded directly from the store.

When you access the store on console or at store.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com you can see which platforms are supported by each game.

  • Minor nitpick: some of those PS1 (and maybe even PS2?) games are playable on Vita as well as PS3. – Shinrai Aug 24 '14 at 19:02
  • @Shinrai Thanks, I didn't know that. It seems the Vita and PSP can play all PS1 classics from the PSN Store, but the Vita can't play any PS2 games. I updated the answer. – Kodama Aug 26 '14 at 10:08
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    Not all PS1 games are available to download on Vita, and annoyingly enough some of them are region specific so it's not any kind of technical limitation. (There are also a few that DO work, but you have to transfer them from the PS3, you can't get them directly from the store.) Vita is...weird sometimes. – Shinrai Aug 26 '14 at 18:41

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