Sony brings PlayStation 2 backward compatibility to PlayStation 4 at light speed

20 Nov 2015

Now you can play old PS2 titles on your new PS4 in an emulated environment

Games from a galaxy far, far away and from a long time ago are about to reappear on the PlayStation 4 as it has emerged a new Star Wars Battlefront games bundle will include old PS2 game titles.

PS2-era games like Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, Star Wars Racer: Revenge and Super Star Wars are understood to be available via a single download to be played on the PlayStation 4 as part of a Star Wars Battlefront bundle about to enter our gravity fields.

The games will be made playable through PlayStation 4’s PS2 emulator that was released into our star systems with little or no fanfare from Sony.

According to Digital Foundry, users will know after downloading the games that an emulator is running because a prompt will appear telling them that the select and start buttons are mapped to the left and right sides of the Dual Shock 4’s trackpad.

Just like the PS2 emulator on PlayStation 3 there’s an emulation system in place for handling PS2 memory cards.

The old PlayStation 2 logo will also appear onscreen when gamers boot up each title.

Elegant weapons from a more civilised age

One of the things that set the PlayStation 3 apart from its rival Xbox 360 was backwards compatibility with PlayStation 2 titles.

So this begs the next question as to whether Sony Playstation 3 games will eventually become backwards compatible on PlayStation 4. The answer is they probably mightn’t but while users can’t play PS3 discs in the PS4 they can theoretically do so in an emulated environment, so it’s up to Sony to create the emulator technology as it has for the PS2.

In the meantime, Microsoft is now in the lead on the nostalgia front having launched backward compatibility for Xbox 360 games on its latest generation Xbox One console back at E3 in June.

The scheme will extend to 360 downloadable content but not Kinect games.

Backward compatibility will initially apply to more than 100 Xbox 360 titles. Those who have already bought the games digitally through Xbox Live can re-download them onto their One without paying any additional fees. To play physical discs, they must download the game to their console’s hard drive and the system will check for the disc upon launch.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years