With little to no fanfare and lacking any sort of announcement by Sony Computer Entertainment, Digital Foundry has stumbled upon the PlayStation 4’s newly added support for PlayStation 2 games, but is it really worth getting excited about?
And why has Sony remained so tight-lipped about PS2 support? After all, neither the PS Vita and PS TV nor PlayStation Now supports PS2 games, so it’s a new avenue to sell games we’ve owned back to us – it’s something Sony is particularly fond of, with good reason.
It rather resembles their behaviour with the original launch of PS Now, a service Sony originally promised would have support for PS1 and PS2 games, but that for the moment only supports PS3 games.
So while we’re usually an optimistic bunch, Sony’s seeming lack of enthusiasm echoes our feelings on PS2 emulation for the PS4, “meh”.
Perhaps it’s because while many of us are still holding onto our library of PS3 titles, we’re willing to bet that there are very few holding onto your PS2 games. And we very much doubt Sony is going to be giving away free access to PS2 titles without us first purchasing something?
Remember, the PS2 was around before the era of digital distribution and gaming, meaning that Sony has no register for who owned what, and there’s no way they’re going to go on our word alone.
We think it’s because this new emulation support is going to undercut the PS2 support they’d love to implement into PlayStation Now, if they could be bothered. It’d likely improve subscriptions to the service, something that a free and valued added function implemented into the PS4 would challenge.
Why would you subscribe to PS Now if your PS4 plays PS2 games and you still own your PS3? You wouldn’t.
It’s a right shame because by the looks of things, at least for the games tested by Digital Foundry (Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, Star Wars: Racer Revenge and Star Wars: Bounty Hunter), the emulated environment runs really well.
It offers both a solid frame rate as well as a near 200% increase in resolution, and there’s definitely a filter in play, improving visuals even further.
It doesn’t do as good a job as something like PCSX2 not all that long ago, but those guys have been cooking up that fine crafted PS2 emulator for a long time now.
We’re of course just guesstimating a reason for Sony’s actions. After all, they’ve barely announced the darn feature, only confirming it via a response to The Wired.
“We are working on utilising PS2 emulation technology to bring PS2 games forward to the current generation,” Sony told Wired. “We have nothing further to comment at this point in time.”
Perhaps the current generation they have planned is digital streaming. Or maybe they just don’t think we’ll be all that impressed given the Xbox One supports Xbox 360 games.