Hands-on with PS4's PlayStation 2 emulation

Digital Foundry:

It's been a long time since we first reported that classic PS1 and PS2 titles were heading to PlayStation 4, running under emulation. It's been so long in fact, that we began to wonder whether Sony had shelved the project. The company originally informed developers of the existence of the emulator at the same time it briefed them on the planned rollout for the PlayStation Now cloud service, way back in January 2014. Since then, the only hints at its existence came in the form of some telling PEGI game ratings, along with some sightings of PS2 classics appearing in shared media lists during the PS4 firmware 3.0 beta phase.

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Neonridr1122d ago

It will be interesting to see the reaction around N4G if Sony suddenly allows PS1 or PS2 titles to work on the PS4 via their original discs considering how many articles arose questioning the need for 360 BC on the Xbox One.

Aloy-Boyfriend1122d ago

Considering most want PS3 BC, this if true wouldn't be much of a deal

SegaSaturn6691122d ago

The reason I want ps3 b/c is because downloading games on ps3 slow. I want the ps4 download/installation time for ps3 games.

Still though, ps2 and ps1 have amazing libraries. I hope we get them. I didn't expect the ps2 games to look this good. Surprising.

nX1122d ago

Who is most? The people I know can live without backwards compatibility. I for one neither have the time nor the old discs to make any use of it.

xHeavYx1122d ago

No one is saying that BC is not needed. It's a cool feature to have, but it's not a console seller feature like people want to believe it is.

garrettbobbyferguson1122d ago (Edited 1122d ago )

Backwards compatibility is a console seller. The only reason I still have my PS3 is because I can go back and play my playstation 1 or 2 titles via an HDTV. If playing older games was not a system seller, or not even a big deal, we wouldn't have the constant remasters, we wouldn't have the emulation and we wouldn't be having this conversation. Not to mention; any consumer which isn't brain dead would be comparing features via each hardware. One has that extra feature that allows them to play more titles? Well that is a by definition a system selling point.

Backwards compatibility is in fact a big deal and I look forward to all the comments singing the praises if Sony ever implements it on the Playstation 4.

xHeavYx1122d ago

"Backwards compatibility is a console seller"
What? If you buy a next gen console to play old games, then you are doing something wrong.
And no, we don't have constant remasters. We have a few remasters of acclaimed games.

_-EDMIX-_1122d ago (Edited 1122d ago )

Yes and no. Like I've stated dozens of times. This is great for gamers, its not going to suddenly sell PS4's MORE because of it, not by huge millions anyway.

I friend of mine who has the bundle confirmed this to me that it was running PS2 as in the same way you play PS2 games on PS3 and he came to the conclusion that yes....PS4 is running the game as an emulation and not as a PS4 remaster or anything, as it wasn't ported or transferred the PS4 is playing a PS2 game, and not a PS2 game transferred to PS4......if that makes any sense lol

Now I have a pretty huge PS2 library in the small hundred and its actually the only library I have next to PC that is that large, but I've got lots of older titles on PSN through digital. My only consern is load times. On PS3, PS2 and PS1 games native on disk actually only have a slight bump in load times, so many titles I got digital even if I owned them.

Silly yes, but I wanted to play FFIX and thought just get the PSN version as it actually runs better then the disk version (I had scratches due to lending it to a former friend....notice I stated former) lol

That being said, my disk version didn't work clearly as good as digital version thus, I felt it made more sense to get it off of PSN. So I feel it would make sense for Sony to update PSN on PS4 to allow those PS2 and PS1 digital titles work on PS4, clearly with publisher blessing same as MS is currently doing right now.

I think its a nice move for them as PS1 and PS2 can easily be emulated compared to PS3.

Nice move for fans, won't move much units, but I'm pretty sure like MS, it wasn't intended to.

PSX will likely have the full confirmation of BC to PS1 and PS2.

@Bahamut- lol STOP! I have a HUGE pile of shame and your not making it grow even game you mention! lol!

I might start a game on DQ VIII now because of you.......thanks. I'm now going to just wait for the news of BC before I start a new game!

Bahamut1122d ago

That's what you think. I can't wait to pick up Dark Cloud 1 and 2, Rogue Galaxy, Suikoden 3 - 5, Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, Dragon Quest VIII, and a few others. Haven't played those in forever!

BadBoyC1122d ago (Edited 1122d ago )


I agree. I'm not saying it isn't a cool or great feature to have because it is is. There's no denying that but it definitely isn't a system seller. If it was the Wii U wouldn't be doing as poorly as it's doing. The Wii U might not be in first or second place but it definitely wouldn't be doing as poorly as it is now in terms of sales if backwards compatibility was indeed as system seller like people are making it out to be. I'm not saying everbody does this because there are people that are genuinely excited for the feature and have intentions of using it but a lot of people only hype the feature up not because they intend on using it but because console A isn't doing it while console B is doing it. The feature is mainly hyped up so it can be used as ammunition in console wars. That's all it is. Back when both consoles had backward compatibility you didn't get a million articles about it and the feature never got as much attention as it does now. If both the PS4 and Xbox One had the feature I can promise you that people wouldn't hype it up and it wouldn't get as much attention as it is now.

Again, it's a cool feature and it's a great feature and I'm definitely going to use the feature a bit to try it out but it's not that big of a deal to me. It's great that Sony is adding it but I don't care that much about backward compatibility. After I get a new console I rarely play my last gen consoles. I keep all my consoles and games and I never used it on the PS2 and I only used it like 3 times on the OG PS3. I can live without it. Whether they Sony added it or not I'm fine either way. The only reason I'd be happy that Sony is adding it is so we don't have constantly hear about it as much as we do now. I don't really play backwards compatibility, I play forwards compatibility.

starchild1122d ago

Speak for yourself. I would love if my PS4 could play my PS2 and PS1 games. Tenchu, Onimusha, Jak & Daxter, etc. Would be awesome. Technological convergence is fantastic. The fewer devices I have to have cluttering up my living space the better.

1122d ago
KiwiViper851122d ago

The back tracking has already started, I can't believe it, haha

BoriboyShoGUN1122d ago

I'd love it!! There are some serious classics I would love to play on the PS4. Gradius being one of them Gradius IV was sick!!!And I've seen it on the market for the PS3.

IGiveHugs2NakedWomen1122d ago

BC is like Shareplay...

Great to have, barely used.

KaZeDaRKWIND1122d ago

Like I care about anything on PS3

JasonKCK1122d ago (Edited 1122d ago )

XiKurapikaKurta Amazing you caught all the usual suspects in one comment.

How can anyone deny BC by saying "nobody wants it" when it's one of the most requested features on "every" console ever made?

Even back in the Nintendo/Sega days gamers were begging for cartridge adapters.

LOL @ people saying they don't want PS3 BC. PS1/PS2 perfectly ok but not PS3? You're only saying that because you have no other choice.

_-EDMIX-_1122d ago

@JasonKCK-"How can anyone deny BC by saying "nobody wants it" when it's one of the most requested features on "every" console ever made?"

Who? You can't just generalize everyone, this sounds more like you need to address that with a specific person that stated those contradictions.

"LOL @ people saying they don't want PS3 BC. PS1/PS2 perfectly ok but not PS3? You're only saying that because you have no other choice"

? Not really, consider many might not own a PS2, but more likely have a working PS3. PS2 and PS1 BC might be something they care about even more then PS3 BC as lots of good PS2 games haven't been played by many compared to games just last gen.

I can see how someone might want BC with something older like PS2 or PS1 as that might be missed by more then something as recent as PS3.

But thats just me, BC to anything it still good and you don't really know what console many might want for BC based on many reasons. I hear people asking for MS to go ahead with XB BC based on them saying they "might" which I think they will. Lots of good titles came to early XB, Fable 1, KOTOR 1 and 2, Conker Live and ReLoaded, Phantom Dust etc.

You can't just question every person that wants this as I'm pretty sure many might want PC to certain systems for different reasons. I don't doubt that many might want to play some PS2 games as I'm sure more have working PS3's out and about then working PS2 ready to be played.

I could be wrong, who knows.

Mulando1122d ago

Even if I want it (BC for PS2) I still think they are much to late with this feature. This should have been available for PS3 (so PS2 BC on PS3) and not only for the first PS3 gen. It shouldn't be that much of a problem to emulate the PS2 on the PS3. It may not be the fastest thing of the world, but PS2 BC now is just much to late. Most of the PS4 gamers never had a PS2 just because they are to young. Most of them wouldn't even play a PS2 game if they even can't play xbox one games when they are slightly reduced in resolution

well that said, PS2 BC is just to late. PS3 BC would be phenomenal but that just isn't possible, just via PS Now.

moparful991122d ago

@Mulando The PS3 had backwards compatability with PS2 games but everyone wined and complained about the consoles price despite being the most robust and feature packed console. So Sony started chopping features and BC got the ax. We basically told Sony "We dont want BC" so they left it out of the PS4 and now those some people are carrying on about how sad it is that Sony hasnt done BC. Even Microsoft admitted how difficult and costly the feature was to implement. Give Sony a break. I personally dont care about BC, all the games I cared about got remasters and not only look better but pkay better.

UltraNova1121d ago

I find it funny that most comments are from Xbox fans instead of PS fans.

Why is that? Hmmm

Personally speaking, BC is not needed we have more than enough current games to play plus I have all my previous consoles ready to 'fight'at a moments' notice should nostalgia kicks in.

Granted for some people this is a big deal.

But one thing's for sure, BC is no system seller at this point in time since most current gen future/potential buyers have probably already made their minds since they probably played everything they wanted to play from last gen, considering the 2 year drought ps3/xbox experienced.

Army_of_Darkness1121d ago

It's pretty cool that the ps4 emulator improves the resolution, reduces jaggies and doubles the frame-rate from 30fps to 60fps! very nice.
All I'm looking forward too playing and actually completing this time is Dragon quest 8 and Rouge galaxy :-)

t-hall7851121d ago

Sony: "Backwards compatibility isn't possible on the PS4...for free."

Kombatologist1121d ago

Just because backward compatibility isn't a system seller to one person doesn't mean it wouldn't be to another. Some of us have invested a lot of money on previous generations. To have access to those libraries on a current gen console without having to purchase those titles again is a plus in my book.

VforVideogames1121d ago

Here comes another 200dlls a month subscription.

BeefCurtains1121d ago

LOL: PS4 pushing BC, and suddenly it's a "nice to have" feature again.

Sitdown1121d ago

Exactly, if one person purchases it because of backwards comparability, then by default it is a system seller. I purchased the 60gb PS3 early on because of reports that the revision would take out some of the backward compatibility features. Some people will go ahead and trade their 360 in if they know they can still play their particular games on the Xbox one; exorbitant since games with gold for the 360 can be played on the Xbox one. This played a part in why I went with the Xbox one version of Fallout 4.

donthate1121d ago (Edited 1121d ago )

BC is great news for PS4. I just hope we can use old PS2 discs in it and not be forced to buy the games again if we already own it. I hope PS1 BC also comes.

The backtracking though, is epic! :D

+ Show (23) more repliesLast reply 1121d ago
Genuine-User1122d ago (Edited 1122d ago )

As far as I'm aware, I haven't come across anyone that has questioned the need for BC rather its impact on sales.

PS2 emulation was rumoured quite a while back.

On-topic: This is exactly what I had in mind for PS2's emulation on PS4. Better resolution, frame-rate, Anti aliasing and trophy support.

uth111122d ago

exactly the argument is more whether BC is a game-changing feature 2-years in, not whether it's completely worthless.

Aloy-Boyfriend1122d ago

I remember a parent that was leaked online where it showed trophy support for old games (PS1 and PS2)

GordonKnight1121d ago

BC isn't a system seller, but it could be the final factor in the decision of what console to purchase. Anyone without a new console and is on the fence on what console to purchase take BC into consideration.

timmyp531122d ago

it's neither game changing or worthless. it's just fan service really.

WildArmed1122d ago

Yup, I'd use it here and there. But definitely won't be switching to a PS2-only library for my PS4 lol

PSX games I play on my vita might see more love since I might want to switch between a tiny and large screen. Though the PSTV has got that covered now for the most part.

Atomicjuicer1122d ago

Remote play would be game changing

Wallstreet371122d ago

What would be so interesting? Here you guys go with the conspiracy theory narrative. Most comments ive seen go like this "bc is an option and that is good but it is not necessary, nor it is a system seller" Ps3 fat had bc and many didnt use it (i used it maybe three times its lifetime).

Hperbole is going around saying "omg this is a system seller" when to most it is not, nor do most care.

KyRo1122d ago

I don't know anyone, even die hard gamers who use BC more than a few times. I had a BC PS3 but it just made you realise how awsome the PS3 was and how terrible the previous PS consoles had aged both in terms of graphics and gameplay mechanics.

Me-Time1122d ago (Edited 1122d ago )

I can't agree nor disagree. This isn't a gamechanger. All I need to do is buy a remote and maybe a power cable for my PS2 to start playing them again. Even then, I'm not a huge gamer (constantly playing games and all) but I would consider myself more into PS1 than PS2. IDK, I think most don't care, but most people aren't huge gamers (nor do I think Most People would prefer PS1 BC over PS2).

I still own a PS3 to play PS1 games and I still think would love for the PS4 to be backwards compatible with PS1 and PS2 games. If anything, Sony should go with PS2 classics in the PS Store since it's been confirmed BC isn't possible on the PS4; was it Shu who let us know?

Why o why1122d ago (Edited 1122d ago )

Slight retcon but I get what you were trying to say. . I've seen many people add last gens games via bc to their 'reasons they prefer' lists. I've also heard 'game changer' and 'console seller' tied to bc on the x1.

Not gunna lie. . There were some who hated on it like it's not a good feature and I don't agree with that. An option is usually always better than no option at all plus I don't like when people use the term 'need' to discredit something they more often than not, don't have. Despite that, the consensus was it wasn't any of the above. Nice try though. .

starchild1122d ago (Edited 1122d ago )

Well, I'm not gonna lie, one of the reasons I love the PC platform is because of the extensive backwards compatibility going back decades. It IS a big deal to me, in any platform. I use it all the time on my PC.

moparful991122d ago

Sony had BC in the PS3 and most scoffed at the console, even crying foul despite Sony taking large losses on every console sold for several years. This taught them that BC is not a desired feeature, they leave BC out of the PS4 and a lot of people are acting like Microsft forged a revolutionary idea. Just irks me how much Fanboys mo e the goalposts in respect to their preffered console..

X-231122d ago (Edited 1122d ago )

Probably going to be thought of as condescending to say this or something, but I'm sorry. Xbox360's gaming library doesn't hold a candle to the types of games that where available in the PS2's era and neither does the PS3.

Personally I would be excited just because of the ability to play several old RPG's I used to love or missed out on in the PS2 era.

Alot of people consider The PS2 and Dreamcast era a golden age for good games.

It's not something that's needed; as I've always stated, but it's a welcome addition. Especially for the PS2, if it was PS3, meh...could take it or leave it and I don't really consider this being a game changer or something that is going to impact sales, but you better believe if I can play some PS2 games on my PS4 I'll be happy.

SeanScythe1122d ago

all i would like it for is my old singstar PS2 games. They have so many songs from PS2 that wasn't carried over to the PS4 and I don't know why.

N4GGuy241122d ago (Edited 1122d ago )

It will be amazing to have PS1 / PS2 / PS3 disc based backward compatibility on PS4. Just imagine a history of PlayStation under your TV in one box.

Do you guys remember PS1 games on PS2 had few settings in the settings menu to allow smoother visuals. Although some were fairly noticable and others not so much. But nowadays we have games that are upscaled and re-released.

kraenk121122d ago

PS3 won't happen..ever...sadly.

bleedsoe9mm1122d ago

as long as it works with discs and not just rebuys on psn , it will be awesome

Fez1121d ago

It would be so anti-consumer if Sony don't make this work with discs. Entirely pointless if you have to rebuy games you already own.

mechlord1122d ago

Who cares.
FFXII, Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne, Persona 3:FES, im waiting first for you girls :)

Spotie1122d ago (Edited 1121d ago )

Questioning the IMPORTANCE, not the need. And even then, the point was that it wasn't a game-changing system-seller. Not that the feature wasn't good or appealing or anything like that.

Somehow, though, too many people have taken that to mean "Nobody cares," rather than "This won't push a bunch of console sales."

Edit: Can you make an argument without hyperbole?

Who claimed "all Xbox fans" said it was a system seller? I don't recall ever seeing that. Not to mention Xbox fans were claiming BC was big enough to win E3.

Who's changed their tune? As far as I've seen, people are saying about this exactly what they said about the XB1: it's nice, but not a game changer.

Yeah, when Xbox fans are claiming that BC is gonna close the gap, when they're saying it was a better announcement than ANY game at E3, when they act like EVERY 360 game is coming to BC, when all they can do is misrepresent PSNow to try and make the XB1's BC look better, they NEED to be brought down to earth.

Or are you gonna act like none of that happened? I imagine you could say "Prove it," yet I never see you proving your claims. Ironic, isn't it? Now that you're claiming hypocrisy by certain people, you don't have a single example to back up what you say.

gangsta_red1121d ago

I think the real issue was a lot of people where ONLY questioning the importance because it was featured on the competing console.

That is why we saw this group in every Xbox One article trying to downplay the feature, over-exaggerate and say how all Xbox fans claimed it was a system seller and other points like one comment I read that said they were there just to bring Xbox fans down to earth (funny right?).

It is funny to see this feature coming to PS4 and the usual culprits now having to bite their tongues because they spent so much time s***tting on it. Now we get to read how nice it is to have but how no one will ever use it.

gangsta_red1121d ago (Edited 1121d ago )

Talks about hyperbole then goes on to say Xbox fans claimed BC was big enough to win E3.

Could you please stop using that term that you read others write and decided to fly with it, because you're doing it yourself.

"...they NEED to be brought down to earth."

*sigh*, more exaggerations and hyperbole(ha) from you Spotie. But I'm glad that you feel it's your job to go around and bring these Xbox fans down to Earth. Keep fighting that good fight!

"yet I never see you proving your claims."

Lmao, you sure do bark a lot out here in the comment section spotie. I guess you forgot all those PM's where I did prove it to you and I got not one reply back about it. I even asked you to give me just one link in return when you were doing your own "hyperbole"(ha) and again you were strangely quiet.

Sparta071122d ago

This is nice i guess, but I won't use it. People buy next Gen consoles to play next Gen games.

ashcroft1121d ago

Except the PS3 gen and this gen is a disappointment. Rehashes, day 1 patches, ripped out content into paid dlc.

There's more content on a ps1 and ps2 than a current gen game.

Some people like to play their retro games. Some even bought the nvidia shield to play emulators with high quality graphic filters to enjoy their games on their HDTVs

Retro gaming is a thing and it's a great thing to have, the option to have BC is a must for people who like games other than Call of Duty and first person shooters.

It sounds like you don't know much or even care about retro gaming, so obviously this subject is going over your head, but for many who have built a collection, BC is important.

Godmars2901122d ago

In what regard?

PSfanboy showing hypocrisy for BC making the PS4 worth buying, or Xbox fans still holding no PS3 BC over the other camp's head?

For me it would be a nice thing to happen, reason not to buy a new PS2 with the current one just dying, but still have to wait and see if its going to be physical or DDL as well as piecemeal because of licensing issues.

frostypants1122d ago

I have a PS4 and I could not care less about this BC stuff.

1122d ago Replies(1)
nitus101122d ago (Edited 1122d ago )

All PS3's can play PS1 game disks so adding this capability to the PS4 would be a nice feature.

I do have an original PS3 that plays PS2 games as well and having the same capability on the PS4 would be another reason for me to purchase one.

As for BC for PS3 games it would be nice but because of the architectural differences between the PS3 and PS4 I doubt we will get an emulator.

It may be possible to get a PS3 image that is specifically translated to run on the PS4 but requiring a PS3 disk to be inserted to play, however I doubt we will see this happen.

Actually the question to as is "would you play PS1 and PS2 games on your PS4?". My answer would be "yes" since I have 30 PS1 and over 60 PS2 games, however I would only play them for nostalgia reasons preferring mainly to play current generation games.

divinealpha1122d ago

Me and you both man the hypocrisy will rise

DarXyde1122d ago

I find Xbox One backwards compatibility to be nice, but don't care for it but I do care about PS2/PSOne backwards compatibility on PS4. I'm not shy about saying that either. I simply have no need for it on last gen platforms. My PS3 and X360 are still hooked up in my bedroom. PS2 is a much bigger deal to me than Xbox 360 and since that was arguably Microsoft's greatest platform,I see the enjoyment behind it, but don't really feel the need to jump on it. Now if the Xbox 360 was from 2 generation's ago, I'd say it's great because odds are, it wouldn't be hooked up. PS2 which many would argue was Sony's greatest console being brought to PS4 would be huge.

stuna11122d ago

This would be right up my alley considering I still have 450 PS2 games boxed up in my basement! Is it a game changer? No, but the option would be nice.

pinkyxyz1122d ago

I personally want backward compatibility because of all of the ps1 and ps2 classics that I purchased on PSN. Pesona 3 and 4 are waiting for me. :)

1122d ago
babadivad1122d ago (Edited 1122d ago )

Not trying to be a troll or anything but this doesn't interest me at all. There are GREAT ps2 emulators on PC that can run games better than the original systems. If Sony allowed PS3 emulation on PS4 though!?!? I would blow a gasket!! Just playing Ni No Kuni or Tales of Graces without having to find space for my PS3 would be HEAVEN! MAKE THIS HAPPEN SONY!!

UKmilitia1122d ago

doesnt bother me.
i wanted ps3 backwards compat and they forcing to psnow for that when MS has done it from disc.
i kinda move on with a new gen and leave rest to memories of greatness.
i dont think it will sell systems because it isnt like people are on ps2 consoles waiitng for it so they can make the jump.

paul-p19881122d ago

Tbh I would like the option, but it's NOT a system seller that MS are making out.

I would LOVE to play a load of the PS2 games I own on my PS4 (and a few PS1 games too), but it would probably only be for about an hour or so a YEAR inbetween playing new PS4 games. I used the backwards compatibility on my launch PS3 for about a week when I first got it as I was part way through MGS3, but this was played inbetween bouts of Resistance Fall of Man. When the PS3 games picked up I rarely used it, and the masses are most likely going to be the same.

TL:DR, great feature that not many of us will use that much, if at all, but nice to have the option and certainly not a system seller!

mark_parch1121d ago

I got the impression ps4 owners didn't want to play old games at least that's what they said when Microsoft announced backwards compatability

Neonridr1121d ago

yep, it was constantly brought up that they want new consoles to play next gen games.

I always think that BC is a great feature, no it's not necessary, but it's always a welcome addition.

babadivad1121d ago

Well you should've known that was a lie. Been playing more PS3 remakes than actual PS4 games. *I kid. . . Sorta*

BallsEye1121d ago

emulating ps3 would be awesome, emulating ps2 is a complete waste. How many of us still have ps1 and ps2 discs?

RosweeSon1121d ago

I very much doubt they'll bother with disc use. They'll just allow all the PSN downloads from PS3 be usable on ps4 and put them up on the store I would have thought especially as they didn't with PS3 games and just made psNow instead. Sony going digital?

RosweeSon1121d ago

I personally feel this will happen however I reckon Sony will do it digitally like they had all the ps1/2 classics on PS3 and just make them available on ps4? This is great news I haven't played some on these games for 10-15 whereas being an ex Xbox 360 user (still own it just doesn't get used) I wouldn't wanna go out an buy a new system just to play Xbox 360 games that I've been playing for the last 9-10 years as I owned a 360 pretty much from day one. It's a great option to have of course like Wii U allowed original Wii discs from day 1 but when I've been using the Xbox 360 games for the last 9-10 years anyway and I could just play them on my 360 it's not as big a deal for me on Xbox one as it is on ps4 as ps1/2 classics would be Amazing, I use my a vita for ps1 classics but if we can get them on ps4 brilliant not played majority for minimum of 10 years and the ps2 back catalogue was absolutely fantastic hence why the console sold 100 million plus.
Hey ho sure this decision announcement will cause some oh well when Xbox did it meh but now Sony are doing it wahey but it's just more exciting on ps4 for me as I had the Xbox 360 for 10 years I don't just want an updated revision for my next console hence why I went ps4/Wii u not looked back since.

BG115791121d ago (Edited 1121d ago )

It won't work with all the original disks. The PS4 can't read CDs, only Bluray disks and probably DVD...