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How to format PS3 for PS2 games

Updated March 17, 2017

While the PlayStation 3 features a library of games, some gamers may still wish to play games from the past generation. Certain models of the PlayStation 3 are backwards-compatible with PlayStation 2 games. Before playing PS2 games on the PS3, gamers must first format their console to support this content. Formatting the console involves adding an internal memory card that will house save data as well as partitioning a portion of the console to act as a PS2 hard drive for games such as "Final Fantasy XI" that required the PS2 HDD.

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  1. Power on your PlayStation 3. Scroll horizontally through the cross media bar with your controller and highlight "Game." Scroll up and highlight "Memory Card Utility (PS/PS2)." Press "X" to select this item.

  2. Highlight "Create New Internal Memory Card" and press "X." Select the first option for a PS2 memory card and press "X" to confirm the selection.

  3. Name the memory card using the text box and input screen. You can create multiple memory cards so use a name that is associated with the game content you will save on the card. Highlight "OK" after inputting a name and press "X" to create the card.

  4. Press "Triangle" to access the card menu. Select "Assign Slots" and choose slot one or two for the card. These slots mimic the memory card ports on the PS2. Choose slot one and use the second slot for additional cards.

  5. Insert a PS2 game disc into the console and begin playing. The game will detect the formatted internal memory card and allow you to house game saves.

  6. Power on your PlayStation 3 and scroll to "PlayStation Network" on the cross media bar. Scroll down to "PlayStation Store" and press "X."

  7. Select "Add-Ons" from the store menu and press "X." Choose "Disc-Based Game Add-Ons" and scroll down to "PS2 System Data." Press "X" to begin the download process.

  8. Exit the PlayStation Store and return to the cross media bar. Insert a PS2 game into your console that requires the use of a PS2 hard drive such as "Final Fantasy XI" or "Resident Evil: Outbreak"

  9. Follow the prompts in the game to partition a segment of the PS3 hard drive for the game. This portion of the hard drive will become unusable for PS3 data as it is now formatted to play PS2 games.

  10. Tip

    You do not need to download the PS2 System Data software unless you are using games that require the PS2 hard drive. PS2 formatting and game data can be deleted by selecting "Game Data Utility" from the "Game" section of the cross media bar and choosing "Delete."

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Things You'll Need

  • 20GB or 60GB PlayStation 3 or PS3 Model CECHE31
  • PS2 System Data software

About the Author

Dan Chruscinski has written pieces for both business and entertainment venues. His work has appeared in "Screen Magazine" as well as websites such as Starpulse.com. Chruscinski graduated in 2006 with a degree in English literature from Illinois State University.

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