What Will PS3 Games Look Like on the PS4?

Backwards compatibility is one of those things you love or you simply can live without. Unlike a lot of things out there online, it's hard to find people that hate it. Most will take a little extra something as long as it doesn't cost them more money or take the place of other features on their precious game console. When current PS3s stopped including backwards compatibility a few years ago, there was a faint murmur to be heard in the community. A lot of people still liked to play the old Grand Theft Auto and Metal Gear Solid games, after all. All in all, though, most people did not miss it.

Now we are faced with the release of the PS4 and history looks to be repeating itself, as the PS4 will not have native backwards compatibility with any past PlayStation system. However, there are other compatibility options being discussed by Sony, so let's take a look at what PS3 games may look like when they finally do hit the PS4 via other means.

The Two Camps
The first group of people talking about backwards compatibility seems to make the most sense to most people. We know the PlayStation 4 cannot play PlayStation 3 games via disc, but Sony will be adding in backwards compatibility via streaming services such as Gaikai further on down the line. PS3 games look great, everybody knows it, so you might as well let people continue to play them on their new Playstation 4s. Hopefully, these games will have visual enhancements that make them look even better on the PS4. Many of those gamers will sell their PS3 and its games because, eventually, they can play them on the PlayStation 4.

The other camp of people say, "Always look ahead." In other words, keep your PS3 games on your PS3 - if you play them at all. These people like progress for the sake of it and want to be at the crest of the technological wave. This is an understandable position (well, kind of), but most folks simply don't have the money to simply ditch their old game console every time a new one comes out and there simply aren't enough launch titles available at most console launches to keep the hardcore gamer occupied for very long. So they hold on to their old consoles. This camp of people also agree that the games work and play best on their original system; after all a handful of PlayStation 2 games did not work on the launch PlayStation 3 units.

PS3 games look like on the PS4But How Will They Look?
The eventual phase-out of backwards compatibility on the PS3 was pretty understandable; as the years went by, more and more people were abandoning their PS2s for new, flashy PS3s. It was progress. Concurrently, many gamers were noticing that their PS2 games didn't look much better on the PS3, if they looked better at all. In fact, many complained that their PS2 games looked WORSE on the PS3. People complained about jagged graphics, graphic flashes, lag, and other issues. Some PS2 games wouldn't play at all on backwards-compatible-enabled PS3s. Many that wanted to still play their old PS2 games just kept their PS2s around for such occasions.

So can we do better this time? Of course. Time and technology marches on and we should all expect to see a whole different animal this time. The issues with the PS3 backwards compatibility resulted from whether it was using hardware or software to run PS2 games, among other things, and we'll see these issues resolved this time around. Sony will have no doubt learned its lesson and will make adjustments.

But will they actually look better?

As you all probably know, the onus is on the actual game. No console is going to take a game that looks like crud and make it look like L.A. Noire (or whatever game you favor for its graphics). Game designers put everything they presumably can into the graphics on their game and ship it off. There's not much to be done after that. That being said, there IS room for improvement. Just as some saw some decline in graphics when playing a PS2 game on a PS3, we can see an improvement in graphics when playing a PS3 game on the PS4. Other consoles have done it. How much of an improvement, however, is anyone's guess. We're all keeping our fingers crossed that Sony will pull a rabbit out of a hat with this new console, so who knows?

Additionally, we may see backwards compatibility come in the shape of re-releasing PlayStation 3 games on PlayStation 4 discs with updated graphics, similar to the releases of the past generation. With this method, we can see PlayStation 3 games rebuilt to take full advantage of the PlayStation 4's many features, which some gamers may prefer to just straight ports via streaming.

What are your thoughts?

Article by - Brett Huffman

Update by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 7/24/2013

See Also:


PS2 is a must

We mustn't forget the all important PS2 games either, like Jak and Daxter and Kingdom Hearts

Backward compatibility?

I am wholeheartedly sided with it, things should look better on the newest hardware rather than they did on the old one. In PCs, for example, they introduced Morphological Anti-Aliasing which make older games look far better on the newest graphic cards. The problem with Sony is that we forget it still manufactures the PS2 in large quantities and it's far more profitable to sell a whole system than offering a software emulating it. People buy the PS3 mainly because they are interested on PS3 games, nobody buys it for just PS2 ones. For Sony is more advantage to keep the PS2 the better option for playing mainly PS2 games.

Just Saying

I own the the MGS4 Playstation 3. It was the last of the great big consoles with backwards compatibility built in. I still play many of my PS2 games on it and don't have the graphic differences that my friends with PS3 Slims do when they play the same games as I do.


They can't forget about the PS2! I still have a lot of really fun ps2 games, like the star wars battlefront and battlefront 2, as well as many others. Please include compatibility for ps2.

software emulator?

Only the early ps3 80gb's had "emulator software", the 20gb, and 60gb models both have ps2 Emotion Engine chips set into the motherboard. The 80gb systems only played a small portion of ps2 games, while the 60 and 20gb models both ran about 97% of all ps2 games. Personally i LOVE the 60gb system, and i own 2 of them. They were the only "true" ps3's made in my opinion, and i hated the fact they discontinued them simply to sell more ps2 systems. If Sony would make the PS4 fully b/c, with all 3 previous systems.. they would sell a TON of them. hell i myself would buy more than one, probably 3 or more to have in different locations. The loss of ps3 b/c with ps2 games was devastating to me. i hate getting up to swap memory cards, hate controllers with cords, and really hate having my ps2 burn out, and trying to find another one that still performs like it's supposed to. the slim ps2's are crap, and the original models are harder to find with all functions still working. Sony would dominate if they brought back B/C.

backwards compatibility

Please make the ps4 fully backwards compatible, some ps2 and ps1 games are classics that deserve to be played, especially tt superbikes real road racing on ps2!!!!!

Let's not forget PS1 while we ate at it

I still prize my ffix disks and some of the older PS1 games as well as the PS2 games. If PS does not make PS4 backwards compatible, I don't know if I will buy it at all...

oh dear

Sigh I think what you're trying to say is: "I meant are, not ate" Can I suggest you install a spell checker.


Full backwards compatability (PlayStation3, PlayStation2, PlayStation) is a must! PlayStation's best games are Grand Theft Auto and Metal Gear Solid! PlayStation2's best games are Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Manhunt, Red Dead Revolver, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Bully! PlayStationPortable's best games are Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories! PlayStation3's best game's Grand Theft Auto IV! Grand Theft Auto V may just be added to that list! Please make sure you keep the backwords compatibility this time! I just got my PlayStation3 long after you guy abolished backwards compatability and I like a lot of other gamers won't be able to upgrade for another few years! Slow down! You're going too fast, Sony!

Ps4 price

Sony needs to slow down and try to send qustioners out to all ps registered users before they make the final ps4. Find out what they want in the new ps4. Find what price they can or are willing to pay. Considering today's economy buying a new playstation 4 is not on the top of the average family priority. Make a bold statement to the consumer and sell the new ps4 at an unusual low price and a unpresented leadership move to sell to the less fortunate consumers and make it affordable for them also. But in short my ps3 just crashed on me and I am in the market for a new game machine, but I'm not totally committed to Sony. If they don't make the price competive with the Xbox and other competitors, I will give considerable thought on purchasing other than the ps4. I can all ways sell and trade my games I purchased and purchase other options presented to me.

i have a ps2 and ps3 and most

i have a ps2 and ps3 and most of my favorite games are on ps2 i hope you ps2 and ps3 games work on ps4

multiples of reasoning

The problem at the moment is everyone on the internet - every tech head - is fighting over what can't be done and what could be done; then going even further and arguing over who knows what and what others don't know and why they should listen to reason that gaming visuals have reached a limit. These people, unfortunately, are stupid. There is a very basic perspective to take; current generation consoles achieve 250 Gigaflops or 0.25 Teraflops, and it stands to reason that everyone can understand that achieving the break from Gigaflops to a single Teraflop is a nice thing to mention - Nintendo is aiming for 1.0 Teraflop of system capability. It's virtually guaranteed at this point in time. It is highly likely that Microsoft are aiming for 1.5 Teraflops of total system capability but... there are signs that there is some form of heavyweight Xbox Next that has 2 Teraflops. At this point in time, it's very hard to tell, but there are signs of this happening. Why? Because of Epic's Unreal Engine 4. Because of Crytek's Cryengine 3. Sony is highly likely aiming for 2 Teraflops. The only single inhibitor that these game console manufacturers ("makers", rather) have is that they have to abide to "green policies". The TDP standard they're aiming for is between 100 and 200 watts. That's the only wall that stands in front of these next Next Generation consoles. Is 1 Teraflops achievable per 100watts? Not on x86 architecture it isn't. But PC x86 tech heads - the knuckleheads of the industry - defy reason by claiming you can't quantify 6x Xbox360 with the Xbox720's custom 6670 GPU - or its intended architecture. Well you can. It's simple. It's 6x 0.25 Teraflops which equals 1.5 Teraflops. This is what Microsoft are aiming for. 1.5 Teraflops at less than 200watts. 95% of the game forums with their "resistant" registered users on the internet are the biggest numbskulls this decade has ever seen. Sony has every chance in 2014 to achieve 1 Teraflop per 100 watts with their Cell CPU and a little help from nVidia/ARM (or AMD, who knows). But not in 2012 or the start of 2013. Microsoft on the other hand, they can do anything. If they think this heavyweight Xbox Next needs $2Billion in R&D behind it, they're going to do that if Epic and Crytek can prove that they can shift the games industry into a whole new gear. And Kinect 2.0 without that "new gear" is like Nintendo without Shigeru Miyamoto.

Yes Please

We have several PS3 in our home. They are backwards compatible. I would never replace then with a PS4 if it would not be backwards compatible.

PS4 Full Compatibility

As a gaming system, it really should honor the existing customer base & PS1/2/3 game enthusiast/collector by allowing the system to run all of these games. Otherwise, it seems the only 'platform' out there anyone should be running is a PC. I can still play all the old PC games from 20 years ago on my system. Why wouldn't they want this to be true on their console? Otherwise they would need to put all of these old games in a digital library for download purchase & there are probably serious issues to doing that (money & time being the primary issues). If they introduce the first PS4 models with full BC & then remove it in later models, as they did with the PS3, that should probably be sufficient for enthusiast/collectors.

Orbis is rumored to suck.

So, considering today's chatter around the web, it seems Sony is not including any backwards compatibility on the PS4 (Orbis?). Sony is also not allowing used games to be played on the PS4 (Orbis?). I will keep my PS3 and not get a PS4. I will get a Wii-U too. Maybe an Xbox360 too since I never had an Xbox. Wii-U for the newer games. Plenty of good content on the PS3 and Xbox360. I still have yet to finish many of my PS3 games as it is. Looks like many people will not buy a PS4 or Xbox720 if they do this stuff. I'm still play old games. I have a NES, SNES, N64, Wii, and a launch PS3. With all that, I can play all old games from any Sony or Nintendo system. I think I'm just going to keep it that way and enjoy the classics. I don't need a PS4 anymore. Wii-U is the way to go for me next generation. I'll still have to keep my Wii since the Wii-U can't do Gamecube. Or maybe I'll get a Gamecube and Wii-U instead. I at least appreciate Nintendo's plan to always allow backwards compatibility to the previous generation. That's fair. I love Nintendo and they love me back. Sony is turning into a nameless, faceless, greedy, pushy, fascist brand.

Which Nintendo system had

Which Nintendo system had backwards compatibility (not including the Gameboys and DSs) All of them. They keep remaking the same god damn game over and over and over again.

Nintendo sucks

Nintendo sucks it just keeps making the sane thing every time except the wii


im just saying you cannont just release this system out their people are just now getting use to ps3 kkkk you cannont just do this kkkkk Xd and we appricate it if you can push your creation of the ps4 more longer because people are still loving the ps3 and also economy today is so good as it use to be so thx

well well

well keep your ps3 then! no 1 is forceing you to move up the ladder sony will still release games for the ps3 even when the new console is out the same way they did for ps2 when the ps3 got released. Sony love money so rest assured ps3 will still see new games even when the next gen console comes along.

who has the room

Who has the room to keep old systems? My TV only has 2 HDMI, and 2 Component inputs. Choosing to keep both a PS3 and a PS4 would be redundant. Even if your TV has more options than my TV does, you are going to run out of room eventually. PS3, 360, Wii, PS2, X-box, Gamecube... I love playing ol games, (particularly multiplayer games when I get my friends from out of town over to relive our younger years,) but if a system lacks backward compatibility I can't keep all those systems. At least Microsoft (despite not supporting everything) have backward compatibility on the 360. The newest Wii doesn't support Gamecube anymore, PS3's haven't supported backward compatibility since just before I could afford one. I didn't know about how much of a difference that PS2 games on the PS3 had till reading this article though. I guess I can understand why they stopped offering it. If they had made it work properly (like the PS2's compatibility with PS1 games) then it would have been worth keeping. But since they apparently just wanted people to look at PS2 games and go "that looks like garbage," why bother including half-baked backward compatibility. My point, include backward compatibility and do it right, or I will leave your system on the shelf.

I don't remember it looking

I don't remember it looking that bad. I had the original and yes, it looked bad, but I remember a filtering option. If not, they most likely would of made one in the future.

for any new Sony gamer this will not work

I'm a gamer who loves JRPGS and owns an xbox360 and an early wii, but no Sony devices. Why not, if almost all JRPGs are on PS2/PS3? Because there simply aren't enough games to get me to buy a system. I looked into buying a PS2 or PS3 around Christmas of last year, but stopped without buying anything after discovering there was no backwards compatibility. I like 2 or 3 games on each console, but I'm not going to buy a brand new system, PS4 or past generation, for only 2 or 3 games. It's not worth it for me, an avid gamer, to buy a new system just to play half the games I want it too. You may be able to keep your old system (if you can afford to buy all the new ones without trading it in) but new gamers are unable to do that and it definitely turns off any customers waiting to buy a PlayStation.

No Filtering...Are you sure?

Um, go look in [Settings][Game Settings] and there should be an option to turn on game filtering.

Compatibility is Backward

The problem of compatibility going backward is similar - if not exactly the same - as developers having to re-write code to assimilate their already established design goals onto a completely different - derivative - architecture. Backward Compatibility is a headache that both designers and developers wish people would just forget about if they want advanced future technology in their hands before every full decade expires into a new one. So which is it: Advanced Future Technology or, "It's not a big jump but it goes backward, O' loyal customer of ours."

play ps3 games on ps4

plz just let us play ps3 games on ps4 because we will not like to buy a full set of ps4 games on ps4

People like you really annoy

People like you really annoy me. id gladly choose backwards combatibility over 'advanced future technology' i dont care about graphics, i dont care about load times, i dont care about flashy new advancements, i want games that are fun and when it comes down to it there are classic games that wont even be surpassed in the ps10's. and i would love nothing more than to show my future kids the amazing game of kingdom hearts, its been ten years and i havent seen a better game yet and thats saying something considering i have a game collection in the hundreds. and more to the point, id rather not keep my useless ps3 around when the ps4 is out but there is no way i will lose my nostalgic grip on some of the games i own.

"crap or not"

people will still want to play their old games. hell i started playing chrono cross and ff7 again on my PS3.. i would play my PS2 games (have to dig the ps2 out first!), but Sony decided to say no. if it can be run in software emulation on a COMPUTER, made by people programming for free and for the fun of it, surely Sony could sanction some people to code it on the PS3/4 for chump change. Emotion chip or not. and who cares about some jaggy pixles? you're looking at games made before the 720p and 1080p boom! they're going to look crappy in comparison on a larger TV anyways. you replay old games for the replay value if you still have them.. not to be dazzled by graphics. that's what new consoles are for. the LEAST they could do is put some converted PS2 games that people actually played in the PSN store.

Just do it

Look at all the PS2 titles being repackaged like mad for ps3. no backwards compatibility makes no sense, for the console that is in 3rd place. (Which is LAST PLACE, for all intents and purposes) The people who own PS3 are already the people who don't mind paying a little extra for a better console, backwards compatibility will make these people buy it on day one. I know I would. If I hear no backwards compatibility... I will pass on PS4 for a couple years, like I did with 3. By then I might switch to another console, who knows. Who cares if PS4 has crosstalk, it's a feature that was wanted years ago, and we still don't have. I am sure the next wii and Xbox will have something else that PS3 users will be left wanting. You don't get ahead by FOLLOWING. Look at the trends. Wii had motion controller, PS3 moves to make a poor camera reliant copy of it, and then Xbox makes the superior kinect. The hardware is better in the PS3, but if the devs admit they don't even push what is there, what is the point??? Honestly? 3rd place! no cross platform game looks better on the PS3 than on another console. How many of you bought skyrim for ps3? As far as graphics go.. Not much has improved since the current generation console release. It is to the point where better graphics just means more development time and credits longer than most hollywood productions. Of course this allows indie games to make headway, which is all right with me. But they don't have the graphics that the big dev games do. What is better hardware going to mean for super popular games like plants vs zombies? 1080 is still the max resolution for TVs and I am sure it will be for a long time, as no one wants to switch to a higher HD movie format (People are still clinging to their SD dvd collection, myself included, more than they did to their PS2 games) Imagine where sony would be if blu ray hadnt been chosen over HD-DVD. That was a bullet dodged, make no mistake.


"3rd Place" More like tied for 2nd. The difference in worldwide systems sold between the PS3 and 360 is practically nothing. 360 won in US, but PS3 dominated it in Japan. "No cross platform looks better on PS3". Wrong. Final Fantasy 13 and 13-2 look best on PS3. So does Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.

People like me r f*cked up

And what's if u don't have a PS3, but want to play some PS3 games? If u buy the PS3 u r not actual, cuz the PS4 will release next year. Btw I don't want to buy a xBox 720.

PS3 screwed me over!!

I really do love playstation consoles. I have never considered getting a XBox because I'm loyal to the system type. But the PS3 literally screwed me over. I've never had so many issues when it came to my console. To the point where I had to create accounts that I barely remember to getting the yellow light of death. I literally kept all my PS2 games but when I bought my PS3 I didn't buy the right system type and wasn't able to play any of them. I had literally just bought the FF above and was so sad that I wasn't able to play it. Now there there gonna put locks on our games is completely ridiculous. Then the games we bought for the previous playstations aren't going to work AT ALL on the PS4 is complete bull. The detail on these new games better be good and willing to having a better warranty for the system. I can't afford the yellow light of death anymore. I'm starting to disband my love for playstation and I hope they step up there game, literally. I'm a true fan of Playstation, but like myself and most of my friends, is it gonna be worth buying another half rated playstation console??

Sony hasn't actually stated anything about BC.

Nobody from Sony has said anything about whether their next console will feature Backwards Compatibility. Regarding your problems I am sorry you had such issues, I've had my PS3 since the day after it came out here in the UK and have never had any problems with it, the faults were actually pretty low in number compared to the amount of hardware that didn't have any issues. Anyway as I've said above nothing has been officially stated about anything to do with the features of PS4, there's been nothing stated about what it will it won't be capable of, just rumours. TBH there are even rumours about Sony using the latest version of PS3 hardware in the super slim and installing that on the motherboard of PS4, there's rumours that PS4 may feature a version of cell as a part that will bolt onto whatever CPU the PS4 has, there's even rumours that PS4's cpu will be a modernized version of cell, which is a part of the APU the console has, basically a 4 core cell processor manufactured below 30nm, with 4PPE and 4SPUs per PPE, with a 7950 chipset or recently an 8000 series AMD GPU. Basically I'd wait until actual concrete info is released about PS4 before making any decisions about whether you're gonna get one or not.

Sony keep the consumers interest ahead of immediate profits

Omg dude stop sucking Sony's cock. Who are to tell someone not make a decision? It's their right and I am on there side Sony made bad judgement calls when releasing the ps3 and changing the hardware because every new model that doesn't have the BC hardware is prone to mess up



Games on PS4

Pls tell me about Mortal Kombat will be released in PS4 or not ?

really people

no matter what anyone says we need B/C. a lot of ps3 gamers would freak out becuase of the lack of B/C personaly i just bought ac3 and bo 2 and would be really angry if they dont use B/C because my friends that would be a wste of money

Already know

Can't wait, already know where my 2013 income tax check will be going, this and Xbox720!


I don't get it ,I hope that all the games for the ps4 will be available for the ps3

For new Playstations buyers.

Backwards compatibility would be essential considering for example, I myself never bought the PS3 and I would really like to play all the GOD OF WAR games on the PS4. Hopefully SONY makes this a reality for me and other gamers with the same hopes.

Those are my thoughts 100%.

Those are my thoughts 100%. There are some good games for the PS3 I never got to play, such as the last two God of War games.

i've always been a fan of the

i've always been a fan of the first killzone, but i never bought a ps3. definitely will go ps4 if i can go back and, like you said, play the god of wars, killzones and uncharted. Backwards compatibility on the ps4 would definitely sell to me.

ps3 games on ps4

can you play your ps3 games on ps4

It'll happen!

Another words (We're working on it!) That's basically what Sony is saying.......... Just read between the lines! ;)

I just think that they should

I just think that they should make it just like how they did on the wii ... GameCube games would have wasted me around 600 dollars a he time but they came out with the wii that was capable of GameCube ,

I just hate!

I just hate that Sony is not Allowing it's customers to play there old ps3 disc games on the new ps4 I mean honestly do you really wanna buy a game again that you already own on for your ps3? That's a total rip off. games are expensive already and it takes some people a lot to go out and buy a new game already let alone buy the same game again for a new system

b/c is a must

jak and dexter and kindom hearts are two of my favorite games and i still have ps2 and them with it its sad to see them go such good games