PlayStation 5 may get additional backwards compatibility - reports

A couple playing a PlayStation game on the television
It lines up with reports Sony is readying a Game Pass competitor. Photo credit: Getty Images

There is speculation that the PlayStation 5 may be about to get additional backwards compatibility functionality after PS3 games with a price attached were seen in the console's store.

Usually PS3 games in the store redirect users to the PlayStation Now version of the game, a subscription service offering streamed versions of the old games not currently available in New Zealand.

But in countries where it is available, price tags have been placed alongside games like Dead or Alive 5, the Prince of Persia series and Bejeweled.

Users were unable to complete those purchases, so it's not known if the listings are in error or are part of Sony's rumoured plans to launch a subscription service to compete with Microsoft's Game Pass.

However some gamers pointed out on social media that some of the games with prices aren't currently available to stream, indicating an expansion of the offering.

In early December it was reported the Japanese tech giant was working on the new service, code-named 'Spartacus', to combine its PlayStation Plus free games subscription and PlayStation Now services.

Bloomberg said the service, expected to launch in the first half of this year, would give both PS4 and PS5 owners access to both classic and modern games.

Documents witnessed by the news website suggest Spartacus will have three different subscription tiers, including one which gives access to games from older consoles.

Meanwhile, the long-awaited launch of a Sony rival to Game Pass is inevitable, according to the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer.

"I don't mean it to sound like we've got it all figured out, but I think the right answer is allowing your customers to play the games they wanna play, where they wanna play them," Spencer told IGN. 

That means a move to subscription services was always going to happen, he said.

"We should continue to innovate, continue to compete, because the things that we're doing might be advantages that we have in the market today, but they're just based on us going first," he said.

"I think the right answer is to ship great games, ship them on PC, ship them on console, ship them on cloud, make them available day one in the subscription, and I expect that's what our competitor will do."