PlayStation 4 owners, it is time to rejoice. Sony has just officially confirmed that they are working to make the PlayStation 4 capable of PlayStation 2 emulation. Speaking with Wired via email, Sony stated, “We are working on utilizing PS2 emulation technology to bring PS2 games forward to the current generation. We have nothing further to comment at this point in time.”
And as it turns out the first games running on the PlayStation 4 using PlayStation 2 emulation are already available for purchase. You may already own them. The PlayStation 4 Star Wars: Battlefront Bundle comes with a download code for four bonus games: Super Star Wars, Star Wars: Racer Revenge, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, and Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.
What sparked the official confirmation was an article from Eurogamer, who were reporting the findings of Digital Foundry. In discussing how they came to the conclusion that these games were not simple ports but were, in fact, being emulated they had this to say: “First of all, a system prompt appears telling you that select and start buttons are mapped to the left and right sides of the Dual Shock 4’s trackpad. Third party game developers cannot access the system OS in this manner. Secondly, just like the PS2 emulator on PlayStation 3, there’s an emulation system in place for handling PS2 memory cards. Thirdly, the classic PlayStation 2 logo appears in all of its poorly upscaled glory when you boot each title. And finally, all in-game button prompts relate to the PS2’s controller – nothing has been changed at all, effectively ruling out a remaster.” For those who may not know, emulation is a way for one set of hardware to mimic the computing environment of another. This allows you to do nifty things like play PlayStation 2 games on your PlayStation 4 or play Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One.
It is the generalized opinion across most news sources currently reporting on this issue that for Sony to just quietly release several games running fully on PlayStation 2 emulation with no fanfare and little explanation is a somewhat strange move as since these games are fully functional it would stand to reason that the technology for general PlayStation 2 emulation is close to being ready for a full-scale release.
According to Sony’s statement that is more or less their plan but with so little information the details of PlayStation 2 emulation are nonexistent. Will you be able to insert your old disks into your PlayStation 4 or will you have to re-download everything? Will PlayStation 1 games be playable? Will the feature of emulation cost anything outside of the purchase of the games? When will this be available? For now we must wait until Sony releases more details. Below is a Digital Foundry comparison video which presents further analysis of the current games which are running on emulation.