Sony is working on bringing PS2 games to the PlayStation 4

by Mark Tyson on 20 November 2015, 10:10

Tags: Sony Computers Entertainment Europe (NYSE:SNE), Sony (NYSE:SNE), PlayStation 2

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In what looks like a competitive reaction to Microsoft's recent move, a Sony spokesman confirmed that his company is working on making PlayStation 2 (PS2) games playable on the PlayStation 4 (PS4). The PS2 was Sony's most successful games console to date and has a rich back catalogue of classic games.

Backwards compatibility functionality offered by Sony's previous PlayStation 3 (PS3) console is complicated, as earlier PS3 console hardware included custom chips that allowed PS2/PS1 games to be played natively. Sony later ended such support with the introduction of the first 'slim' PS3s. However Sony distributed some classic PlayStation titles digitally (for a fee) which were modified to work on the PS3.

With the advent of the PS4 Sony suggested various classic PlayStation titles would be made available to owners of the 'next-gen' console via PlayStation Now streaming, again for a fee. It had previously learnt that while backwards compatibility of PS3s with PS2s was "a much requested feature... it's not so greatly used".

Despite learning from its console industry history, as noted above, Sony looks set to make a U-turn of sorts and, as the WSJ reports, will create some kind of PS2 emulation for the PS4. A Sony spokesman stated "We are working on utilizing PS2 emulation technology to bring PS2 games forward to the current generation." That comment was not elaborated upon.

Eurogamer notes that a new PS4 games bundle already features a working PS2 emulator. A package of four titles: Super Star Wars, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, Star Wars: Racer Revenge and Star Wars: Bounty Hunter has been released for Sony's latest console and they run under emulation. It is noted that the games enjoy fast framerate, improved 3D rendering, at higher resolutions but "there's little that can be done to improve the quality of 2D assets".

The big question is how Sony will leverage its emulator. Will it open it up so gamers with stacks of old PS2 discs (or access to a nearby car boot sale) can enjoy all their old titles, or will it make us all pay again for the privilege of playing our old favourites? With Microsoft's recent Xbox One with Xbox 360 backwards compatibility initiative I'd hope we can enjoy our old discs but with enhanced rendering.

I own neither next gen console but boxed up in the garage have 20-ish old PS2 games and a similar number of Xbox 360 discs, so it's interesting to see what will happen. I'll probably buy one of the 'next-gen' consoles when they hit £100…

HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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I should hope that games you have bought previously from PSN will become available to download and play on PS4, that would be a great start.

There was another article on Eurogamer at the beginning of the week stating that the classic SNES Super Star Wars is landing this week on PS4 available via PSN.
IF MS and Sony are going to allow the use of older games, ie backwards compatible, they need to do it for all their games, not just select few.

Otherwise, whats the point in getting the next gen gear if you still want to play your older stuff and can't except by playing it on the same old machine.

Its not rocket science.

It might even pull people away from playing on PC's where for the majority, they still can play they favourite old games without having to *buy it again* or pay a fee.
Just let me use my PS3 PSN games on the PS4 so I can ditch my ps3 already !
With the exception of ‘The last of us’ the rest are all ps1 games like final fantasy anyway.
As soon as I read about Microsoft's backward compatibility initiative, I became quietly hopeful that Sony would follow suit. I'm confident that it is not only possible, but easy to perform software emulation of PS2 games on a system as advanced as the PS4, and would love to be able to put the PS2 in the attic some time soon… whether it happens - and HOW it happens - are anything but clear right now though.
following in the footsteps of xbox