If you’re into big pixels, Sony has a treat for you. The company has secretly been working on a fully functioning PlayStation 2 emulator for the PlayStation 4. It is taking advantage of this emulator for classic PS2 Star Wars games. But the company also confirmed to Wired that it is working on bringing more PS2 games to the PS4.
You can buy a Star Wars Battlefront bundle that comes with a PlayStation 4, EA’s latest Star Wars game and a bunch of old games — Super Star Wars, Star Wars: Racer Revenge, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, and Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.
Eurogamer tried these games and got a nice surprise. These games weren’t updated for the PlayStation 4. Instead, they run inside a PlayStation 2 emulator.
You’ll find much of the PlayStation 2’s classic iconography starting with the start and select buttons, virtual memory cards and the good old PlayStation 2 logo when you boot these games. It also means that there will be a lot of upscaling and things can look ugly on a big television.
So what about other games? Sony’s plans remain unclear. The company could sell old titles in its online store, or it could create a sort of subscription service to access a library of classic PlayStation 2 games. You may remember playing GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas, Final Fantasy X, Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, God of War games, Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter, and more. The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling console in history after all.
But many gamers would prefer a firmware update that would add this emulator for free. If you still have your PlayStation 2 discs, there is no reason why today’s new emulator wouldn’t be able to handle these games just fine.
Microsoft added Xbox 360 backwards compatibility for the Xbox One just last week. Many gamers praised Microsoft’s announcement at E3 as customers don’t have to pay anything to play their old Xbox 360 games.
Yet, Microsoft has to develop a patch for each Xbox 360 game, making it a slow process — 104 Xbox 360 games are now available on the Xbox One so far.
By betting on older games, Sony can make an emulator run at full speed and doesn’t have to spend time on each game to make it compatible with the PlayStation 4. So let’s hope that Sony won’t make you pay for 15-year-old games.