Your Go-To Guide for Choosing The Best PS3 Console with Backwards Compatibility

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Playing PS1 and PS2 Games on PS3: What You Need to Know

The more recent PS3 models offer expansive storage capabilities, whereas the earlier versions possess a notable feature: they can play PS2 games.

Every PS3 can play PSone games, but when it comes to playing PS2 games, only the initial release models are designed with this functionality. These original models predominantly rely on software emulation for PS2 compatibility, which means not all PS2 games might work. Exceptionally, the first 60GB model comes with built-in hardware enabling it to smoothly run almost any PS2 title, making it a prized find for enthusiasts of backward compatibility.

To figure out if your PS3 can play PS2 games, check the model number located on the barcode sticker behind the console, which follows the serial number.

  • The 60GB model numbers starting with CECH-Axx have full backward compatibility.

  • 20GB models with CECH-Bxx, 60GB with CECH-Cxx, and 80GB models with CECH-Exx offer limited compatibility through software emulation.

  • Original ‘Phat’ models tagged with G, J, K, L, M, P, and Q in the model number will play PSone but not PS2 games.

  • Later Slim and Super Slim models don’t play PS2 games, but they do support playing PSone games.

PS3 Super Slim Comparison

Different PS3 Models You Can Find

  • The First Batch (Phat) – Launched by Sony in November 2006, these came in variations of 20, 40, 60, 80, and 160GB hard drives.

  • The Slimmer Version (Slim) – Unveiled in September 2009, Sony introduced this svelte iteration, 32 percent smaller, 36 percent lighter, and more energy-efficient than its predecessor. Storage options include 120, 160, 250, and 320GB, but with only PSone game emulation on offer.

  • The Latest Revision (Super Slim) – September 2012 saw the debut of an even smaller and lighter console, approximately 25 percent smaller and 20 percent lighter than the preceding Slim model. This version introduces a top-loading disc tray instead of the previous slot-loading mechanism. It’s available with either 250 or 500GB of storage. At present, you’re most likely to find this model in stores, and similar to the Slim, it solely supports PSone emulation.

PS3 60gb front

Identifying Your Sony PS3 Model

To discover your PS3’s model and serial number, turn your attention to the back of the console and find the barcode sticker. Below the barcode, the serial number is followed by the model number, which starts with “CECH”.

PS3 Super Slim Models:

  • CECH-4001B

  • CECH-4001C

PS3 Slim Models:

  • CECH-2001A

  • CECH-2001B

  • CECH-2101A

  • CECH-2101B

  • CECH-2501A

  • CECH-2501B

  • CECH-3001A

  • CECH-3001B


PS3 Serial number model guide

Model Number Hard Drive Capacity USB Ports Storage Media Slots PlayStation 2 Software Compatibility
CECH-4001C 500GB 2 No No
CECH-4001B 250GB 2 No No
CECH-3001B 320GB 2 No No
CECH-3001A 160GB 2 No No
CECH-2501B 320GB 2 No No
CECH-2501A 160GB 2 No No
CECH-2101B 250GB 2 No No
CECH-2101A 120GB 2 No No
CECH-2001B 250GB 2 No No
CECH-2001A 120GB 2 No No
CECHP01 160GB 2 No No
CECHL01 80GB 2 No No
CECHK01 80GB 2 No No
CECHE01 80GB 4 Yes Yes
CECHE01MG 80GB 4 Yes Yes
CECHG01 40GB 2 No No
CECHH01 40GB 2 No No
CECHH01MG 40GB 2 No No
CECHA01 60GB 4 Yes Yes
CECHB01 20GB 4 No Yes


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