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A Tiny Glimpse Of Hope For PS3 Emulation On PS5

A new job ad from PlayStation Studios suggests Sony may be hiring to get PS3 games working

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An arty shot of the corner of a PS3.
Image: Sony

A new job ad, reported by PlayStation Lifestyle after being spotted on ResetEra, strongly suggests that Sony might be trying to hire an engineer to get its PS3 emulation sorted. There’s also rumor of getting old PS3 peripherals working on the new machine. Which would all be such a relief.

If you have partaken of Sony’s relaunched PlayStation Plus for the PS4 and PS5, you’ll have noticed that when exploring the 400+ games in its extensive archives, everything on PS3 has to be streamed. And oh man, the streaming sucks.


The PS5 has, so far, been incapable of running PS3 emulation, which makes for a massive bummer when it comes to missing out on that entire generation of games on modern machines. The rebooted PS+ offers the option to download games from the PS1, PSP, PS2, PS4, and of course PS5. But for the PS3, you’re stuck with streaming, and at least in my experience, that’s a sucky mess of pixels and failure.

So there’s hope in the form of a new job advertisement for a Software Development Engineer, put up on LinkedIn by PlayStation Studios.

Our Software Development Engineer position works on the Tools and Technology team at PlayStation Studios to support the newly relaunched “Classics” for PS4 and PS5. Classic games run via emulation of legacy PlayStation platforms. As a Classics engineer, you would work closely with a group of other engineers, producers, and QA teams to fix bugs, add new features, and develop new emulators.


It’s that “develop new emulators” that has me excited, because unless they’re going rogue and intending to let people run their GBA ROMs on the console, the PS3 is the only emulator that really needs developing.

At the same time, Gamerant has spotted a new patent from Sony that demonstrates a desire to get a bunch of PS3 peripherals working on the PS5, including the EyeToy, the PS Mouse, and PS Move controllers.

Trying to play a bit of Lego Pirates Of The Caribbean with my boy the other day, streaming via the freshly-relaunched PS+, the game collapsed into a smeary mess of enormous pixels over and over. I checked the internet connection on the PS5, which reported 875mb/s, which I’d argue should just about be enough to stream an eleven-year-old game. And yet we were plagued by those crappy image breakdowns, game-ending input lag, and a message popping up throughout to say my 1GB internet connection isn’t good enough for streaming. Which is just embarrassing.

So bring on emulation! There are, of course, already functioning PS3 emulators available for PC, and given the power of the PS5 it shouldn’t be too difficult to replicate this on the console. Getting it working on PS4, however, might prove a tougher gig. Still, it’s nice to at least cling on to these little flashes of hope.


Also, I find it incredibly funny that these companies, often the scourge of emulation communities, now turn to the same technology to bolster their business models.