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How you can play old games on PlayStation 3

There is still only very limited backwards compatibility with regards to playing PS2 games on the PS3.

Sony has updated its PlayStation 3 console so that gamers can now download and play original PlayStation games on the newer PS3. A new firmware update which is available from today can be downloaded from the PlayStation website.

Sony will begin selling updated and discounted versions of original PlayStation games on 26 April, enabling users to download the games directly onto their PS3 hard discs.

The games will be available via the PS3 store, and can then be played either on the console itself or transferred onto a PSP memory stick so that the games can be played on the Sony handheld on the move.

This is an extension of a scheme which has already started slowly in Japan and the US, but this is the first time that UK and European PlayStation 3 fans will be able to play PS1 games on their new consoles and PSPs.

It's not new technology though, there have been cracks available for the PSP for a long time, which emulate the original PlayStation console so that any PS1 game can be played on the Sony PlayStation Portable.

The PSP itself has also been issued with a new system upgrade, and users will need to install this update if they want to play the officially released PS1 games on the handheld device.

The upgrades to both pieces of gaming hardware include minor compatibility improvements so that you can use more of your older PS1 and PS2 peripherals on the PS3. Many PS3 gamers could be forgiven for wishing that Sony would concentrate more on making more PS2 games compatible with the PS3 instead of the uber-old PS1 games.

James Rivington

James has been working with TechRadar for over 12 years and is now the Global Editor-in-Chief of eCommerce at TR and its sister sites including PC Gamer and That means he looks after buying guides and deals pages as well as all of the nifty price comparison tools we use to help readers find the best deals on the coolest products.