PS2 emulation on the PS4 is now real, not that Sony told anyone.
It’s odd that while the PlayStation 4 launch played on so much of the positive nostalgia surrounding the PlayStation generation, Sony have been slow to capitalise on that with a PS2 emulator and a suite of classic games. Such a thing did exist, and was announced to developers back in January 2014, though the project hadn’t been heard of since, until now. Sort of.
Battlefront’s limited edition PS4 bundle included a copy of SNES classic Super Star Wars, which took most of the attention when it was revealed, but the other three games bundled – fairly mediocre PS2 games Star Wars: Racer Revenge, Jedi Starfighter, and Star Wars Bounty Hunter – were a stealth launch of the PS2 emulator it seems.
Technical results seem positive, with Digital Foundry running their usual fine toothcomb over the output and being impressed by the resolution increase of the 3D models, framerate improvements, and display resolution. Support for trophies is included too, so you can *finally* platinum Jedi Starfighter.
It’s unclear what Sony are planning to do next with the software – “We are working on utilizing PS2 emulation technology to bring PS2 games forward to the current generation, [though] we have nothing further to comment at this point in time.” – but the back catalog of classics is surely worth raiding; Gran Turismo 3, Tekken 2, SSX Tricky, Burnout 3, hell, even Jumping Flash might be worth revisiting.
What do you want to see from the PS2 archives made playable on the PS4? Or should the classics stay in the realm of bargain bins, collector’s shelves, and car boot sales?, lest the rose-tinted nostalgia wear off and the sheen of your cherished games seem dull by today’s standards?