PS2 emulation coming to PS4 -- oh wait, it's already here

Sony has confirmed PS2 emulation is coming to PS4. Those who've purchased a Star Wars Battlefront bundle can already take advantage.

Jeff Bakalar Editor at Large
Jeff is CNET Editor at Large and a host for CNET video. He's regularly featured on CBS and CBSN. He founded the site's longest-running podcast, The 404 Show, which ran for 10 years. He's currently featured on Giant Bomb's Giant Beastcast podcast and has an unhealthy obsession with ice hockey and pinball.
Jeff Bakalar
2 min read

Sony might be playing coy about plans to bring PlayStation 2 emulation to the PS4, but it's happening. Actually, if you bought the Star Wars Battlefront PS4 bundle, you can try out the emulation first-hand right now.


The bundle includes four legacy PS2 games: Super Star Wars, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, Star Wars: Racer Revenge and Star Wars: Bounty Hunter via a downloadable PSN code. According to Eurogamer's Digital Foundry breakdown, the games actually look pretty good thanks to what they believe is a resolution bump of about four times. Plus, there's likely some nifty antialiasing (smoothing) processing going on as well that is giving the image quality a much more tolerable presentation. I mean, we are talking about a generation of games that ran in 512x448 (and some in 640x448).

We're not totally sure how long Sony has been working on PS2 emulation, but that console's library is arguably one of gaming's most prolific. As it currently stands, the only way to play PS2 games is to own a launch-window PS3 (they eventually removed the feature) or stream games via PlayStation's Now service -- which only hosts a sliver of the full PS2 library. There's still no talk of PS3 games being backward compatible, but some titles are playable on PS Now as well.

Microsoft made headlines at this year's E3, when the company announced that 100 Xbox 360 games would be playable on Xbox One by the end of the year. They've made good on that promise albeit if some of the 104 backward compatible games are a bit underwhelming.

Ultimately, this PS2 emulation news just poses more questions. How will this work? Will those with PS2 games lying around be able to pop them into their PS4s similar to the way Xbox One does 360 backward compatibility? Will PS2 games be on sale in the PS Store? Sony has declined to comment on specifics, but we'll relay them when they surface.