PlayStation 2 Emulation Coming to PS4, Sony Confirms
Sony is working on bringing PlayStation 2 titles to the PlayStation 4, the company confirmed to WIRED Thursday evening.
“We are working on utilizing PS2 emulation technology to bring PS2 games forward to the current generation,” a Sony representative told WIRED via email. “We have nothing further to comment at this point in time.”
It seems as if the first PS2 games using this emulation software to run on PS4 are already out: a bundle available now at retail that includes a PS4 console and the Star Wars: Battlefront game also includes a selection of bonus classic games: Super Star Wars, Star Wars: Racer Revenge, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, and Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.
The latter three games, according to the Digital Foundry, as reported by Eurogamer, aren’t simply ports of old code to the PS4. Instead, there are a number of signs indicating that they’re running on proprietary emulation software.
Emulators mimic the environment of a specific computing environment, in this case the environment of the PlayStation 2 console. This allows PS2 games to run on the PS4 as if they were on their native machine, but in higher resolution in some cases.
PlayStation 4 is the only Sony console to release without some form of backwards compatibility, and reports have indicated the company has been pursuing a PS2-to-PS4 solution since at least sometime last year.
The PlayStation 2 was one of Sony’s most popular gaming platforms and had thousands of games released for it worldwide, including many classics like the original God of War, Gran Turismo 3, and Final Fantasy X among others. If Sony can get these games running on an emulator on PS4, it can sell them all over again and boost the PS4’s library significantly.
Strange that Sony released emulated PS2 games in such an under-the-radar manner. A few Star Wars games quietly released as essentially a pre-order bonus does not make for a particularly climactic announcement. Releasing old games can make fans pretty happy—just look at the release of Vib-Ribbon last year for PlayStation 3.
Sony’s comments indicate that the PS2-to-PS4 initiative is bigger than just the Star Wars bonus games. The big question is, how will this emulation work when it goes wide? Will it just be limited to bonus features? Will you have to buy the games from the PlayStation digital store, or will you also be able to insert a PlayStation 2 disc into your PS4 and play it? Sony, as stated above, declined to comment further on its intentions.
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