I used to have one of the bulky PS3's (recently deceased) and in the future, I am planning on buying a slim PS3 since it has extra data space. Now one thing that I really liked about my old model was that it enabled me to play PS1 and PS2 games on it, especially since there were some games that I couldn't get to work on either that worked perfectly on the PS3.

As far as I'm concerned, the slim PS3 does not have any backwards compatibility. I've asked two of my friends, both of whom own the slim model, if there was any way of playing PS1 and PS2 games on the slim PS3. One friend told me that the backwards compatibility could be downloaded and once you did that, then you could play them. My other friend told me that you can't play them at all.

The reason I'm asking this is because I have some PS1 and PS2 games that I really liked playing on my PS3 and I fear that once I switch to a slim one, then I will no longer be able to play them at all. In fact, if the slim model can't play them, I may consider buying another bulky model just so I can keep playing them.

So I ask of you, is there ANY way possible for me to play PS1 and PS2 games on a slim PS3?

  • There may be software emulation but I do believe that Sony has discontinued this. Regardless however, you will NOT have the hardware backwards compatibility you once did. Its a shame as I recently had my original PS3 cached into oblivion as well.
    – James
    Commented Apr 15, 2012 at 6:25
  • possible duplicate of Can you play PlayStation 1 games on the PlayStation 3?
    – user3389
    Commented Apr 15, 2012 at 6:33

2 Answers 2


All PS3s are capable of playing PS1 games, whether they are on disc or downloaded from the PSN.

Only some earlier fat PS3 models can play PS2 disc-based games.

Recently though, Sony have begun adding "PS2 classics" to the PSN store, which are playable on all PS3s. They appear to be using a full software emulation to play these games.

Presumably they have been tweaking the emulator on a per-game basis to ensure that each game runs correctly. (The partial software emulation on the CECHCxx and CECHExx PS3 models was decent, but many games had small glitches.) There is only a very small selection of PS2 games available on PSN at the moment.

  • Not all earlier fat PS3 models can there are only a few models per Sony. See the Wikipedia entry on PS3 for the exact models.
    – divamatrix
    Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 1:17
  • @divamatrix: Correct. My wording wasn't clear, but I intended for the reader to look at the linked Wikipedia article to check their own model. Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 6:24

Yes, all of them can play PS1 games, even the brand new slim models. Only a few of the old ones are able to play PS2 games.

  • 3
    -1 for duplicating information.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 19:43

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