PS3 games spotted on the PS5 store — but it’s not what you think

PS5 photo
(Image credit: Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Over the weekend the internet has been abuzz with speculation that the PS5 is set to receive increased backward compatibility features after PS3 games were spotted on the PlayStation Store. 

These rumors started circulating primarily after VGC reported that select PS3 games have appeared on the PlayStation Store on PS5. While PS3 games included in Sony’s PS Now service have been a regular fixture of the store for years, the games spotted by VGC are titles not included with the game streaming service. 

We have investigated for ourselves and can confirm that the PS3 title Dead or Alive 5 appears on the PlayStation Store on PS5 with a £7.99 price tag. However, it’s not currently possible to purchase the game, as its listing page isn’t fully active. Nevertheless, it does currently appear in search results. 

Dead or Alive 5 on PS3 appearing on the PS5 store

(Image credit: Sony)

There has been much theorizing that this could be related to the rumored Spartacus upgrade to PS Plus. This reported overhaul of the online subscription service will add several new features in order to challenge Xbox Game Pass. Originally reported by Bloomberg, it’s claimed that the most expensive subscription package will offer PS3, PS2, PS1 and PSP games on PS5. 

While the strange appearance of PS3 games on the PS5 store could be an unintended indication that Spartacus is real, and set to launch in the near future, we’re going to  have to be a buzzkill on this one. This exact thing has happened several times before, and ultimately nothing has come of it. 

As pointed out by @MysticRyan, PS3 games appearing on PS5 is a known visual bug that has happened “many times over the years.” Furthermore, the appearance of a price tag can be explained as the store pulling a price from when PS Now let you rent individual games. In this case, it looks increasingly likely the internet has got hyped up over nothing.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that Spartacus isn’t still coming. The original report on the service comes from a well-placed source, not to mention Sony recently started pulling PS Now cards from U.K. retailers. This move has been widely interpreted as Sony getting its ducks in a row ahead of officially confirming Spartacus in the Spring. 

Nostalgic PlayStation gamers looking to revisit some past favorites shouldn’t expect to be playing PS3 on their next-gen console just yet. However, there’s still a very strong chance that in the coming month's Sony will expand its PS Plus offerings to include more classic games. Even so, we don’t expect the PS5 to receive native PS3 backwards compatibility anytime soon, if ever. 

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.