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Can the PlayStation 4 play games from earlier consoles?

Want to play older games on PS4? Well, you can, but it will cost you.

Sony playstation 4 on table with controller
Image: Unsplash

With the release of the PlayStation 5 imminent, backwards compatibility with games is again in the conversation. The best part though? Sony has said they’re committed to enabling the PlayStation 5 to play titles from the PlayStation 4. Big news, and only slightly overshadowed by Xbox’s announcement that the Xbox Series X will be back compatible with games from consoles before the Xbox One.

With Sony playing catch up, is its existing console generation, the PlayStation 4, able to play games from previous generations of consoles? Does Sony have its own version of Xbox’s back compatibility program?

So, can the PlayStation 4 play games from the PlayStation 3 or earlier consoles?

Short answer: Yes, but not without dropping some cash

Unlike the Xbox One which lets you play games from the Xbox 360 and Xbox, the PlayStation 4 can’t natively play games from earlier iterations of the PlayStation console, such as the PlayStation 2. What you can do however, is pay for PlayStation Now, which lets you stream over 800 games from the entire PlayStation back catalog, all the way back to the PS1.

Sony recently revised the pricing structure, and now you can get a year of PlayStation Now for $59.99. That’s pretty good considering the monthly fee is $9.99, and when I was a subscriber a couple of years back it was double that at $19.99. You don’t just get the ability to stream PlayStation games to your PlayStation 4, you can also stream those same games to your PC, adding even more value.

What do you think? Do you feel backwards compatibility is important? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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