Playing PlayStation 2 games on a PlayStation 3 requires a backwards-compatible PlayStation 3 system for disc-based games. However, any PS3 can play PS2 games downloaded through the PlayStation Store.
The PlayStation 3 system uses Blu-ray encoding for its disc-based games, rather than the CD/DVD encoding used on the original PlayStation and the PlayStation 2. Making the PS3 backwards compatible required Sony to install a second optical reader to accommodate the different data types. Because of the increased cost, this was only done on a limited number of PS3 systems. A complete list of compatible and incompatible PlayStation 3 systems arranged by model number can be found on PlayStation.com. The final backwards compatible PS3 system was model number CECHE01, released in August 2007.
Many original PlayStation and PS2 Classics games are downloadable via the PlayStation Store. These games can be stored on the PS3's internal hard drive or on an aftermarket external hard drive. Payment is processed via the PlayStation/PSN account wallet. Users can either specify a credit or debit card to fund the wallet, use a PayPal account or purchase prepaid PlayStation Network gift cards from many traditional retailers. After the content is purchased, it can then be downloaded to the user's device by accessing the Download List menu or through the Sony Entertainment Network Web store.