Gamers that are missing their PlayStation 2 games could soon be dusting them off, as Sony has confirmed that emulation for the earlier console is coming to the PlayStation 4.
It would seem that the first PlayStation 2 titles that are using this emulation technology to be played on the PlayStation 4 are also already out, with the Star Wars: Battlefront bundle of the PlayStation 4 also coming with several classic games, namely Star Wars: Racer Revenge, Super Star Wars, Star Wars: Bounty Hunter and Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter.
All of the titles, except for Super Star Wars, have been determined to be not simple ports of the old code from the PlayStation 2 to the PlayStation 4, as there are several signs that the titles are running on emulation software created by Sony.
"We are working on utilizing PS2 emulation technology to bring PS2 games forward to the current generation," said a representative for Sony in an email, adding that there is no other comment on the matter available at the time.
Emulators allow gamers to play titles for certain gaming consoles on other consoles by copying a certain computing environment, and for this case, it would be copying the PlayStation 2's computing environment within the PlayStation 4. This would allow gamers to play PlayStation 2 games on the PlayStation 4 as if the more advanced console was the native console of the titles, but in some cases, with higher resolution.
It was also confirmed that the PlayStation 2 titles were being emulated for the PlayStation 4 because at the start of the PlayStation 2 Star Wars games on the PlayStation 4, a prompt informs the gamer that the start and select buttons have been mapped to the left and right sides of the trackpad of the Dual Shock 4 controller. Third-party game developer do not have access to the systems operating system to make such a change. In addition, there is an emulation system for PlayStation 2 memory cards, and the PlayStation 2 boot logo appears on boot-up.
An emulator for the PlayStation 2 would be well met by gamers, as the gaming console was one of Sony's most popular ones with thousands of games including classics such as Gran Turismo 3, God of War, and Final Fantasy X. Bringing these titles to the PlayStation 4 would not only expand the console's gaming library, but will also be profitable for Sony as these games can be released again.
The PlayStation 4 has so far been the only console by Sony to not have a backward compatibility feature, which makes it strange that the company would release emulated PlayStation 2 titles under the radar with the Star Wars: Battlefront bundle.
There are still many things unclear about the PlayStation 2 emulation technology for the PlayStation 4, such as its availability to all PlayStation 2 games or just to a select few, or if it would require the game CDs or digital copies. Until Sony releases more information about the feature, however, these questions will remain unanswered.