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  • Are PS2 Games Compatible with a PS3?


    The PlayStation 2 (PS2) is the top selling gaming console of all time. More than 10 years after launch in early 2000, the company continues to sell the console even though it was succeeded by the PlayStation 3 (PS3) in 2006. Sony has gone on the public record that they will continue support for the PS2 life cycle until demand for the product ceases. A common question that arises for a fan of various PlayStation 2 titles is can you play PS2 games on PS3?

    How to Determine if the PS3 Can Play PS2 Games?

    Generally speaking, the range of compatibility between PS3 models significantly varies based on the type, model, and hard drive size. The 20 and 60 GB NTSC Sony PS3 models are considered to PS3 and PS2be the best for supporting backwards compatibility with the PS2. They contain a full PS2 Emotion Engine (EE) and have PS2 circuitry. Due to increased cost, this approach was abandoned by Sony which closed the 60 GB PS3 model after a short production time. The Sony 40 GB model does not support backwards compatibility with the PS2, but it does have full backwards compatibility with the PS1.  The 80 GB PS3 supports PS2 games through software emulation along with the 60 GB PAL model. The PS3 Slim has hard drives that range in size between 120 and 320 GB and only supports PS2 games available for download from the PlayStation Network (PSN).

    PlayStation 3 Compatibility Matrix

    The following compatibility matrix can be used to check to see if your PS3 is backwards compatible with PS2 games. If the PS3 model is not listed, then it was likely purchased in a foreign country that requires separate validation for compatibility.

    Model Number

    Hard Drive Capacity

    USB Ports

    Storage Media Slots

    PlayStation 2 Software Compatibility

    In Production

    CECH-3001B

    320GB

    2

    No

    No

    Yes

    CECH-3001A

    160GB

    2

    No

    No

    Yes

    CECH-2501B

    320GB

    2

    No

    No

    No

    CECH-2501A

    160GB

    2

    No

    No

    No

    CECH-2101B

    250GB

    2

    No

    No

    No

    CECH-2101A

    120GB

    2

    No

    No

    No

    CECH-2001B

    250GB

    2

    No

    No

    No

    CECH-2001A

    120GB

    2

    No

    No

    No

    CECHP01

    160GB

    2

    No

    No

    No

    CECHL01

    80GB

    2

    No

    No

    No

    CECHK01

    80GB

    2

    No

    No

    No

    CECHE01

    80GB

    4

    Yes

    Yes

    No

    CECHG01

    40GB

    2

    No

    No

    No

    CECHH01

    40GB

    2

    No

    No

    No

    CECHA01

    60GB

    4

    Yes

    Yes

    No

    CECHB01

    20GB

    4

    No

    Yes

    No

    Where is the PS Model and Serial Number?

    A common question that arises for gamers looking to verify if their PS3 supports PS2 games is where to find the model and serial number of their PS3. To locate, pick up the PS3 and locate the bar code sticker that is located on the rear or back of the unit. Beneath the bar code, there will be an 11 digit serial number that is then followed by the model number. All PS3 model numbers are preceded by the letters “CECH.” The model number can also be found by looking on the top of the retail box of the PS3 (the part of the box where the handle is). It is also printed beneath the contents of the PS3 box. The PS3 serial number will also be printed on the store receipt (in many cases but not all) if you have purchased the device at a brick-and-mortar store. Sony also prints the compatibility status of the PS3 on the back of the box beneath the features. At the time of this writing, only the PS3 models CECHA01, CECHB01, and CECHE01 are able to play some PS2 and PS1 titles with full compatibility not guaranteed.

    Where to Get PS2 Games for PS3 Consoles Not Compatible

    Just because a PS3 is not directly compatible doesn’t mean that one can’t play their favorite PS2 titles on a PS3. It just means that PS2 games must be downloaded from the PlayStation Store. Even if you already own the game title in PS2 format, Sony will still require a separate purchase of the title from their store.

    How to Save Game Progress for PS2 Games on the PS3

    First, if you do not own a PS3 model CECHA01, CECHB01, CECHE01, there is not a published mechanism by Sony for you to save game progress for PS2 games. On compatible models, you have to make an internal memory card on the PS3 hard disk drive. If you are playing both PS1 and PS2 games, a separate card must be made for each variant of software. Even though you may have more space available, the virtual card will have the same size limitations as the actual device(s). The size limitations are 1MB for PS1 cards and 8MB for PS2.

    Step 1 – Select “Game” and “Memory Card Utility (PS/PS2)” and press the select button.

    Step 2 – Choose “New Internal Memory Card” and the press the select button.
    Step 3 – Choose “Internal Memory Card (PS2)” to save game data for PS2 game titles. Alternatively you can select “Internal Memory Card (PS) “for PS 1 games. Either choice must be followed by selecting the select button.
    Step 4 – Choose the button that has the name field highlighted to use an on-screen keyboard if you want to input a unique name for the internal memory card. Then, select “Ok” and press the select button.

    Step 5 – If you have not previously created an internal memory card, then press the select button to assign the newly created internal memory card to slot 1. After this step, the internal memory card will be created.

    Steps to Assign a PS2 Memory Card Slot on a PS3

    If a memory card slot has already been created on the PS3, then to be used the player must assign a virtual slot on the device to use the card to save game progress.

    Step 1 – Select “Game” and “Memory Card Utility (PS/PS2)” and then press the select button.

    Step 2 – Highlight the memory card to use and press the select button.

    Step 3 – Highlight the “assign slots” menu option and press the select button.

    Step 4 – Highlight either “Slot 1” or “Slot 2” to assign the internal memory card to the slot and press the select button.

    Step 5 – Choose the “Remove” menu option if you desire to remove the internal memory card from an assigned slot.

    PS2 Games Compatible with the PS3

    The 40 GB, 160 GB, 320 GB, 80 GB re-release, and slim versions of the PS3 are not backwards compatible with PS2 games due to the hardware chips from the former consoles not being included with the gaming boxes. As Sony releases new firmware this list may change and the current status of compatibility can be verified at the Sony backward compatibility database.

    PS2 Games Partially Compatible with the PS3

    One of the sources of the most frustration for gamers isn’t with PS2 games that are not compatible with the PS3, but with those which are only partially compatible, or have issues in later stages of the respective game. As a result, the following games listed are those that are “compatible” but have well-documented issues at some stage in the game or with performance when playing on the 20/60 GB NTSC or 60/80 GB models. The list can improve for the better as new firmware updates are issued by Sony but is current at the time of this writing.

    Title                                Publisher                           Issue               

    187 Ride or Die                                  Ubisoft                          During various FMV sequences throughout the title, the audio cuts out; throughout the “The Coast  Escort” mission, graphical corruption appears throughout the shadow texture of the user’s vehicle.

    Aeon Flux                                          Majesco                         At a random point during gameplay, the title does not respond to user input.

    Aero Elite: Combat Academy          Sega                              The title is unable to perform intended HDD functionality. Throughout the Introductory FMV sequence, the FMV audio stutters and/or plays overlapped with static audio distortion.

    Area 51                                               Midway                         Upon boot up, the title hangs.

    Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia         NIS America                Bugs Random save file corruption or complete loss. Lockup during Raki fight is game bug, not PS3 bug.            Bugs Random virtual memory card save file corruption or complete loss. Lockup during Raki fight is game bug, not PS3 bug.

    Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes the Neighborhood     Eidos Interactive         Throughout gameplay, various graphics intermittently flicker. During various FMV sequences throughout the title, the FMV audio does not play as intended. Throughout the title, when a menu screen appears, various graphics randomly jitter.

    Beyond Good and Evil                     Ubisoft                        At various points during gameplay, water textures appear corrupt.

    Black (video game)                            Electronic Arts              At various points during gameplay, the user’s character teleports to a random nearby location. At various points during gameplay, the user’s character may become stuck.

    Blitz: The League                              Midway                         When network gameplay begins, a network error message appears, and the user is disconnected.

    BMX XXX                                         Acclaim                         Throughout gameplay, the title performs at a significantly slower than normal performance speed.

    Burnout 3: Takedown                      Electronic Arts              The title does not detect a valid network configuration saved to the VMC. At various point throughout the title, the title does not recognize the internal memory card.

    Burnout Revenge                              Electronic Arts              Throughout the title, when a menu screen containing a background FMV sequence appears, the FMV appears with graphical corruption, graphical “tearing”, stutters for approximately one second, and/or a portion of the FMV plays in a continuous loop.

    Cold Fear                                           Ubisoft                          At random points during gameplay, the PAUSE screen randomly appears.

    Colin McRae Rally 04                       Codemasters                 Plays  Has problems with the virtual memory card reading.

    Colin McRae Rally 2005                   Codemasters                 Sometimes runs slower than on PlayStation 2.

    Crash Twinsanity                              Vivendi                       At a random point during gameplay, the title may hang.

    Darkwatch                                         Capcom                         Throughout the title, when a menu screen appears, the audio stutters; During various FMV sequences throughout the title, the FMV appears misaligned; Throughout gameplay, when the user presses the R1 button to shoot, various shooting animations do not appear.

    Dawn of Mana                                              Square Enix                 Throughout gameplay, various characters move erratically and/or do not perform as intended. Throughout gameplay, various character model graphics appear corrupted and/or randomly “twitch”.

    Destroy All Humans!                                    THQ                                          At specific points during gameplay, character weapons do not function as intended.

    Drakan: The Ancients’ Gates                      Sony Computer Entertainment           Throughout the title, a random character model shadow graphic appears in the center of the screen. Throughout gameplay, various environment graphics intermittently appear corrupted.

    Dynasty Warriors 3  Koei    Throughout the Introductory FMA sequence, various character graphics flicker and/or appear with polygon “stretching”.

    Extermination            Sony Computer Entertainment   Throughout the Demo FMA sequence, the character(s) do not perform as intended.

    Gitaroo Man              Koei    The display flickers/stutters during the title menu and the game frequently crashes during multiplayer

    God of War   Sony Computer Entertainment           During various FMV sequences throughout the title the audio plays overlapped by static audio distortion. The character has no shadow.

    God of War II           Sony Computer Entertainment             The character has no shadow.

    Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories                 Rockstar Games          Sometimes cutscene audio is out of sync.

    Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories          Rockstar Games          Slows down when there’s a lot of action on screen.

    Gungrave                   Sega                  Throughout gameplay, the title performs at a significantly slower than normal performance speed.

    Hitman 2: Silent Assassin                 Eidos Interactive         Throughout gameplay, the title performs at a significantly slower than normal performance speed.

    Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy     Sony Computer Entertainment           Plays, freezes randomly, most of the time unfreezes

    James Bond 007: Nightfire               Electronic Arts            Used to play but on new firmware updates, it says ‘unsupported data’ this is with version 3.20

    Jaws Unleashed                     Majesco           Plays, will freeze sometimes.

    Madden NFL 07                    EA Sports       With either a DHCP or Static IP network connection, when the user tries to connect to the EA server, a message appears stating that no supported network hardware is detected. During network gameplay, the user is randomly disconnected; throughout the title, when a screen change occurs, the title freezes for approximately 1 second.

    Manhunt        Rockstar Games          Does not work on the PAL version of the ps3 game will boot and freeze after the first cut scene.         At a specific point during the Introductory FMA sequence, the title may hang; During specific “Level” FMA sequences, the FMA may skip, Does not work on the PAL version of the ps3 game will boot and freeze after the first cutscene

    Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater                 Konami           Very low framerate, Virtual Memory card savefile(s)’ random corruption or complete loss/inability to save progress either ingame or while booting. Corruption is generally a temporary problem and can easily be fixed with a reboot or a resave in a different save slot.

    Musashi: Samurai Legend               SQUAREENIX          Lighting and other effects are rendered improperly and issues of flashing during battles.

    NFL Street 3              Electronic Arts  Throughout gameplay, various graphics appear corrupted. The following conditions have been confirmed on PS3 System Software Version 1.90: Throughout the title, various graphics randomly jitter. All conditions have been resolved on PS3 System Software Version 1.92.

    Persona 3  FES          Atlus   Bugs: Virtual Memory card savefile(s)’ random corruption or complete loss/inability to save progress either ingame or while booting. Corruption is generally a temporary problem and can easily be fixed with a reboot or a resave in a different save slot. Game hangs during full moon event in September but resumes after 20 minutes or so with no further problems

    Persona 4       Atlus   Bugs: The bar in the lower left hand corner showing close interactive items or location is empty.

    Phantasy Star Universe Sega  At a specific point preceding network gameplay, the title hangs.

    Ratchet & Clank       PlayStation 2   Sony Computer Entertainment           Throughout gameplay, the title performs at a significantly slower than normal performance speed.

    Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando         Sony Computer Entertainment           At a specific point during gameplay, the title hangs, Throughout gameplay, the title performs at a significantly slower than normal performance speed.

    Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal                       Sony Computer Entertainment  At a specific point preceding network gameplay, the title hangs. At various points during gameplay, the title may perform at a significantly slower than normal performance speed.

    Ratchet: Deadlocked             Sony Computer Entertainment  At a specific point preceding network gameplay, the title hangs. Throughout gameplay, various graphics appear corrupted. Throughout gameplay, the title runs at a significantly slower than normal performance speed.

    Rayman Raving Rabbids                 Ubisoft              Some graphical corruption after Ubisoft logo and after selecting profile.

    Shadow of Destiny                Konami  At a specific point during gameplay, the title hangs.

    Shadow Hearts: Covenant               Midway No  Randomly freezes without recovering, switching controller to digital mode and not using the analog sticks does not fix the issue.    Frequently freezes for short periods of time if using the Analog Stick(~10–20 seconds) If DPad is used there is no problem.

    Shadow Hearts: From the New World Xseed Games Frequently freezes, will not continue play

    Silent Hill 2                 Konami One of James’ leg disappears when he is standing still or idle.

    Spartan: Total Warrior        SEGA No  freezes and out of sync audio on opening cutscene

    Star Ocean: Till the End of Time                Square Enix     Freezes at one point of the game. Does not unfreeze.

    Star Wars: Battlefront II                  LucasArts        At a specific point during gameplay, various graphics appear corrupt.

    Summoner 2  THQ    At a specific point during the Opening FMA sequence, the title hangs.

    Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow      Sony Computer Entertainment           Bugs: Throughout game play, character weapons do not appear in their proper location. Throughout game play, the enemies do not attack as intended.

    Tales of the Abyss                 Bandai Namco Games                        When player enters Choral Castle, game controls lockup permanently. Cannot advance past this point.

    Tekken Tag Tournament                 Namco Games Title runs very slow, around 15fps compared to its intended 60fps therefore being nearunplayable. Hangs when starting with Xiaoyu.

    Transformers                        Atari    Audio playback during FMV’s is slightly distorted. Loading screen Graphic’s jitter. Loading screen after selecting a New game is 50% darker than normal.

    Ultimate Alliance                   Activision        During network gameplay, the user is randomly disconnected.

    Unreal Tournament  Atari      At various points throughout the title, extraneous sound effects randomly play.

    WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007               THQ    ~ Disconnects when attempting to play online when CAWs are used.

    WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It               THQ      During various FMV sequences throughout the title, the FMV audio plays at approximately 90% of the normal performance speed.

    Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht             Namco SLUS20469                  Running in place occurs when entering the AWGS Academy in the Kukai Foundation for the first time, making progression impossible approximately halfway through the game.

    Yakuza                       Sega    Indefinite freeze in Ch.7 when loading “Mysterious Organization” and Ch.13 when loading “MBI.” Passive freeze points In Ch.3 after the funeral and a fight scene in Ch. 5. This can be passed by ejecting the disk immediately when the loading scene starts; the music will pause, then reinsert the disk. Passive in game freeze point occurs in Ch.11 (?) in midbattle, when prompted to jump. Eject the disk during the battle to bypass this freeze, and reinsert it to load the jump, repeating as this happens multiple times during the battle.

    Yu Yu Hakusho: Dark Tournament                       Konami           During various FMV sequences throughout the title, random portions of FMV audio may play in a loop; Throughout gameplay, portions of various character model graphics appear corrupted.

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    109 comments
    1. cameron lee garner

      21 December, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      I have a CECH-4201B ps3 series and don’t play ps2 games. Is thier a way to play ps2 gmaes on it?

      Reply
    2. Jimmy

      10 August, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      Wish you where still able to play ps2. Great memories playing rachet and clanks, james bond nightfire, simpsons hit and run and ssx.

      Reply
    3. Marc

      10 March, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      my nuts hurt lol

      Reply
    4. David

      21 January, 2012 at 7:47 am

      I think ps3 and ps2 both sucks because after cracking my ps2 it still does not play many titles and ps3 problems u all knows very well

      Reply
    5. cruester1994

      12 January, 2012 at 10:08 am

      Yo, hopefully we can play PS2 games on the PlayStation Vita, because I’m planing on buying the Jak and Daxter Collection the the PSN store. What do you guys think? Btw, I know you guys played the Jak and Daxter series, so what I’m thinking is that every time they maked an HD collection a new game of that series will be release, lets hope for Jak and Daxter 5, not that spin off crap they did with Jak and Daxter The Lost Frontier.

      Reply
    6. Diss

      11 January, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      I got my 160GB PS3 when it first came out in Australia and where i actually bought it from they had scribbled out with marker the section on the box where it says “this console does not play PS2 games”
      We go back to the store the next day and they say “we are very sorry but we were told from our head office that we have to scribble out that line”
      now if i wanted to buy a PS2 it would only cost me $64 where as about 6 year ago it would have been between $200-$100

      Reply
    7. degu

      7 January, 2012 at 12:46 am

      It’s just consumer’s ignorance causing this kind problems. A quick check on the net would’ve revealed that most PS3 models out today do not support PS2 titles natively at all. Heck, most advertises AND the console’s package should say so nowadays as well.
      Me? I learned this horrible fact years ago. In Europe the only PS2 backwards compatible version was the original 60gb model, and even that had the stated crappy emulation software instead of real hardware (like first gen US models).
      Fortunately (?) PS2 consoles are dirt cheap nowadays, so if you want you can save a hundred or so bucks on cheaper PS3’s model and spent the rest on the slim PS2.

      Reply
    8. bob

      6 January, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      haha playstation wankers ha fucking haaaaaa!!!!

      Reply
    9. Talis

      6 January, 2012 at 7:09 am

      yeah you did get ripped big time… even a year and a half ago when i bought my 320gig it came bundled with a game and an extra controller and only cost $399 iirc…  but it does suck that any of the ps3’s made in the last couple years don’t even have software emulation for ps2 games…

      Reply
    10. Drock

      27 October, 2011 at 7:21 pm

      Bjorn, you got ripped.. I just got a 320gb PS3 + the Move + 3 games (Battlefield 3, Little Big Planet 2, Sports Champions ) + an extra controller + 3 months PSN Plus for $350 from Best Buy…

      Reply
      • zandy

        4 March, 2012 at 4:35 am

        where did got it? jb hi fi ?

        Reply
    11. Bjorn

      11 October, 2011 at 6:35 am

      I am very VERY angry that we can not play ps2 games on ps3 with the (320Git) Because of the fact that I paid 600$ for move,and the ps3… since it was the best one out. YET I cannot play ps2 games… I feel like I got ripped of I really do…

      Reply
    12. Fucker

      6 October, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      The year right now is 2078,
      You’re all HISTORY!!! LOL!
      In the future Nintendo bought XBOX and
      Sony. We call our gaming console
      “The One” It can Literally do Everything!!!
      I wish I could share more…but The future is
      Promising>>>>

      Reply
    13. Marcus

      22 September, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      What firmware version does a new  Slim 120GB ps3 come with now? I’m thinking about going to gamestop to buy one.

      Reply
      • Marlon Franco

        22 September, 2011 at 9:32 pm

        its at 3.70 i guess. You’ll get the latest one, of course whenever you buy from gamestop.

        Reply
    14. leo

      20 September, 2011 at 3:59 pm

      if i sell my 7 year old ps2 to buy a ps3. will i be abel to play my 4  year games as well as ps3 and blu-ray discs

      Reply
      • Marlon Franco

        21 September, 2011 at 4:48 pm

        I’m not sure which model has backwards compatibility, because the new PS3 models don’t play PS2 games, but Blurays, YES of course. I’ll get back to you on this.

        Reply
    15. NewToThis

      21 August, 2011 at 6:56 pm

      So, if I get the 160GB, and download the ps2 game player thing-a-ma-jig for it, does this mean that ps2 games will become compatible?

      Reply
    16. Jawn

      16 August, 2011 at 11:00 pm

      only if you have the original PS3’s.
      i can since i have the 60GB Launch Model. as for hard drive space i have upgraded mine to 500GB hope some time i will upgrade it to 1TB.
       
      PS3’s that can: 20GB Model and the 60Gb Model. as they have the PS2 Hardware to play them, almost infinite memory card storage for PS2 games and PS1.
       
      60gb model is the best, simply because it has every feature the PS3 name has to offer.

      Reply
      • Marlon Franco

        17 August, 2011 at 2:14 pm

        I guess you’re right, but does that model YLOD free?

        Reply
    17. mattysoul

      1 August, 2011 at 4:08 am

      dude, this sucks. I can’t believe that I cannot play my SSX3 on my 80gig PS3.  It hangs up after about 5 minutes of play.

      Reply
    18. Chris G

      19 June, 2011 at 3:08 am

      While I’m watching a DVD or playing a game after 15 or so minutes into it the tv screen goes blank(black) and the words invalid format pop up circling the tv screen and stays on for a few minutes and then the game or movie continues! Why does this happen? What can I do to fix this annoying problem?

      Reply
    19. WWE

      18 June, 2011 at 8:28 pm

      PS3 HERE I COME WOO

      Reply
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