PlayStation Has Reportedly Created a Game Preservation Team

The PlayStation 5 can play almost every single PlayStation 4 game, which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is when juxtaposed against the PS4, which couldn’t natively play any PS3 titles. PS1 games were left out entirely and only a small handful of PS2 games could be downloaded from the store. However, it seems as though Sony is looking to buff up its preservation efforts across the board with a new team it has allegedly created.

PlayStation Has Reportedly Created a Preservation Team, PS3 Emulation on PS5 Rumored

As spotted in a ResetEra post that was then linked to on Reddit, PlayStation Senior Build Engineer Garrett Fredley posted on his LinkedIn page about joining the newly created Game Preservation team. According to his profile, he just joined this group within PlayStation in April 2022.

PlayStation Has Reportedly Created a Preservation Team, PS3 Emulation on PS5 Rumored

He elaborated in a post saying that April 25 was his first day on the job and that game preservation was his first career passion. Fredley also did a detailed talk at the Game Developer’s Conference in 2019 about game preservation, showing his familiarity with the topic. This was during his time at Electronic Arts where he “solely [led] preservation efforts for the Fifa franchise” and also “used Powerpoint to advocate the importance and complexity of preservation to Artist and Audio leadership.” He’s also credited on multiple Fifa titles.

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A team focused on preservation seemingly works with another report saying that Sony was looking into PS3 emulation on the PS5. Around 15 minutes into the April 1 episode of VentureBeat report Jeff Grubb’s Games Mess podcast, Grubb stated that “it sounds like Sony might be working on emulation for PS3 for PS5.” He then said that it “might take some time,” which is understandable given the scope of such a project.

This comes in the wake of Sony taking its back catalog more seriously. The new form of PlayStation Plus that is set to launch in most areas in June will let subscribers of the highest tier download PS1, PS2, and PSP games and stream PS3 titles. Streaming is and has been Sony’s solution to getting PS3 games on the PS4 and PS5, as running those games natively is a little trickier due to the PS3’s unorthodox architecture that’s hard to imitate. A group focused on preservation could theoretically spearhead a project that could get the PS5 to emulate PS3 games or at least make it so games going forward aren’t so hard to modernize for newer systems. “Game Preservation team” is a vague title with many possible meanings, so it remains to be seen exactly how Sony will use that crew going forward.

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While Sony hasn’t announced a division like this or plans to emulate PS3 games, it is leveraging its back catalog even more with a subscription service that needs to be constantly refreshed, so it makes sense for the company to more properly preserve its library and bring older games to newer systems. Even though it has some rough patches, Nintendo has utilized its history with Nintendo Switch Online and the extra Expansion Pack tier, as it has added more and more classic titles — from the NES and SNES for the former plan and Sega Genesis and N64 for the latter — as time has gone on. There is also data that the Nintendo is even trying to offer Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games, too.

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