Sony Quietly Releases PS2 Emulation on PlayStation 4 – With a Catch

We’ve learned (via Eurogamer) that Sony has finally, albeit sneakily, released PlayStation 2 emulation on the PlayStation 4.

The classic system has finally seen its capabilities reintroduced on the current-generation console via the release of Super Star Wars, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, Star Wars: Racer Revenge, and Star Wars: Bounty Hunter – all three of which are PlayStation Network downloads, and were previously released on the PlayStation 2.

Featured above, you can view a video Eurogamer compiled to show off their analyzing of the emulator.

Eurogamer did some tests and discovered the games were actually running via emulation, pointing out various tell-tale signs of the legendary console’s quirks, like the classic PS2 logo appearing when you boot each game, or how each in-game button prompt is still that of the PS2 – nothing has been remapped to the DualShock 4.

The Start and Select buttons have been mapped to the left and right sides of the DualShock 4’s touchpad – a feature that third parties cannot access currently. There’s also an emulation system now in place for handling PS2 memory cards, just like how the PlayStation 3 emulated the PS2.

Eurogamer also pointed out some improvements made in the new emulator, like how PS2 games are substantially upscaled, for both 2D (unfortunately) and 3D elements. There appears to be a post-process in effect akin to anti-aliasing, making edges less jaggy.

Trophy support is also one of the biggest additions, and while this makes it sound not like an emulator, Sony did file a patent for adding trophies to games which didn’t originally have them (without modifying the source code) back in 2013.

Finally, the games running in this emulator are performing much better, with Jedi Starfighter running at 60FPS (which could never run at this fidelity on the PS2 hardware).

These won’t be the last PS2 games to run on PlayStation 4 via emulation – we reported on PEGI rating Ape Escape 2, Dark Cloud 2, Twisted Metal: Black for the PS4 (all of which are PS2 titles).


Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive, Catholic

  1. Mir Teiwaz
    Mir Teiwaz
    November 19, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    I’m curious to see how far Sony will take this. I hope they eventually get to the point of letting us play physical PS1 and 2 games on it.

  2. dirtysteve
    November 19, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    I hope Tenchu : Wrath of Heaven shows up.

  3. Vagineer1
    November 19, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Just give me Dark Cloud 2 on the PS4 and I’ll die happy and with no regrets.

  4. Mr0303
    November 19, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    This is pretty big. I suspect Sony was holding that announcement for PSX. Trophy support for PS2 games would be amazing.

  5. Phelan
    November 19, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    “Finally, the games running in this emulator are performing much better, with Jedi Starfighter running at 60FPS (which could never run at this fidelity on the PS2 hardware).”

    Who said? Some of PS2 games had stable 60 FPS. If original MGS2 had 60 FPS… why would it be impossible for some of other games?

  6. Wonderkarp
    November 19, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    But I cant put a PS2 game into my PS4, yeah?

  7. Phelan
    November 19, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Sadly no. But well… PS2 had better design than PS3.

    My PS2 is alive and kickin… and as for PS3… my second one already got broken :/ bluray this time :/ So yeah… there is chance that many of us still have PS2 in perfectly ok condition.

  8. Vagineer1
    November 19, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    I have my PS2 right beside me all plugged in and ready to be fired up at a moments notice.

  9. Phelan
    November 19, 2015 at 5:54 pm


    Yeah… it works as if I bought it yesterday. Currently palying Odin Sphere once again.

  10. Vagineer1
    November 19, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    To be honest if they do release Dark Cloud 2 on the PS4 I may buy it just because whilst my copy still works, it is scratched up badly.

  11. SpermPellets
    November 19, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Nice, hopefully we’ll start to see large amounts of PS2 games for sale on PSN.

  12. Kiririn51
    November 19, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    It largely depends on the type of game. MGS 2 had very simple models for the characters and environment, but MGS 3 had more complex shapes and it had foliage, which is why it ran like ass 90% of the time.

  13. Jumanji Joe
    Jumanji Joe
    November 19, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I find it interesting that so many people are cheering for being able to rebuy digital ps2 games. If Sony can emulate ps2 games pretty well on a ps4 I want to use one of my own discs and not pay again and again for the same game.

  14. Lohreck
    November 19, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Playing games from disc and region free would blow my mind.

  15. Vagineer1
    November 19, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    I’d buy the games I already own again on the PS2 purely because most of them are scratched since back when I was a kid I didn’t treat my game discs properly.

  16. Lex
    November 19, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    I’ll wait and see what we actually get before letting myself get hyped.

    I’d probably buy Persona 3 a fifth time though

  17. Nagato
    November 19, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    This + both Sony and MS should’ve had stuff in place for this back at launch already.

  18. Nonscpo
    November 19, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Congrats for everyone that’s been looking forward to this, now I’ll just wait here for them to announce the PS2 Emulation for PSVITA…I’ll be waiting here for awhile won’t I?

  19. evilmajikman
    November 19, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    I wish they’d find a way to put Rogue Squadron 2 and 3 on the PS4.

  20. BaronKrause
    November 19, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I don’t mind having to rebuy them, what sucks is that this means the games you can play will always be limited.

    Like you might have that .Hack disk, but you prob wont ever be able to buy it on the PS4’s PS2 game store.

  21. Specialist
    November 19, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    That will probably never happen since apparently people are happy to buy these ps2 games again….

  22. Mir Teiwaz
    Mir Teiwaz
    November 19, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    I can dream man. I can dream.

  23. blackice85
    November 19, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    That’s one of the things PS2 has going for it, there’s a crap ton of them around and still kicking, can even still get some new in the box slim models if you don’t want used. The challenge is getting all your consoles hooked up at once if you’re the type to keep each of them and want them ready to use.

  24. Narmy
    November 19, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Wait, so does the PS4 support all PS2 classics now, or only certain games that are specifically sold for the PS4?

  25. blackice85
    November 19, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Yep, those of us who gripe about that are in the minority. Gotta remember that many players either don’t keep tons of games from past generations and/or never had them to begin with.

    Many players were also too young or not yet born at the time of release for them, so they’re ‘new’ to them anyhow. It’s easy to see why they’d make them digital and sell them, way too many sales to be had.

    I don’t have a problem with them selling them again, but it’d be nice to have the option to emulate from a disc, for those who’d like to consolidate their console setup.

  26. Creyu
    November 19, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    And you want your VHS tapes to play as well as your Blu-rays too?

  27. Siveon
    November 19, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    That’s always been the case, though. Only early PS3’s had backwards compatibility with the PS2 hardware-wise.

  28. The_Last_Ride
    November 19, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    i am only buying if it’s cheap and has trophies

  29. Siveon
    November 19, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Well, they didn’t announce it on the PS4 in the first place, so I doubt they’ll make an announcement at all.

    Anywho, I don’t think the Vita is strong enough to emulate the PS2 but I’m sure more companies will port games like Odin Sphere, FFX, EDF 2, etc.

  30. djluke_1993
    November 19, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    As long as Rogue Galaxy gets put up on there I’m fine….

  31. sanic
    November 19, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    It’s crazy that the xbone got this one right and let people use physical or digital 360 games for backwards compatibility, just need to make a much much bigger selection.

  32. Dnetwork7
    November 19, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    ……..or you just keep your old system

  33. Shirou
    November 19, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    So, where is the catch?

  34. Fenrir007
    November 19, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Maybe Sony could start giving away one free PS2 game each month to PSN+ members in addition to the other titles they already give out.

  35. Feniks
    November 19, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Tales of the abyss, Star Ocean, FF12, Ar tonelico.

    Too much games not enough time.

  36. Feniks
    November 19, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Depends on the price. Paying 9.99 for FF12 wouls be a good bargain since jrpgs give you 90 hours of play.

  37. doog
    November 20, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Ps3 emulated ps2 games on later models as well. Basically only used it for psn only titles, if you modded your ps3 you could use it for other
    games as but it ran slow and glitchy easy to see why they never released to everyone. I imagine this will be the same way.

  38. TsukuyomiMagi99
    November 20, 2015 at 1:20 am

    Make it so all games from the 5th-7th era released on Playstation playable.

  39. tetrisdork
    November 20, 2015 at 1:24 am

    But, look at Microsoft with the 360 compatibility on the Xbox One. If you own the disc, the “install to drive to play” is downloading the Xbone-ready version.

  40. trfe
    November 20, 2015 at 1:32 am

    Eh. Open the catalog and that’s newsworthy. 5 games isn’t a drop in the bucket.

  41. Nad Nod
    Nad Nod
    November 20, 2015 at 2:09 am


  42. SiliconNooB
    November 20, 2015 at 2:50 am

    I wish they’d emulate some more interesting games…

  43. Ryan Garcia
    Ryan Garcia
    November 20, 2015 at 4:20 am

    Yup. Still got all my old Playstation consoles. I was using my PS2 slim to play Star Ocean 2. I wish I could back up my save files to my HDD.

  44. fnd
    November 20, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Can this benefit the PC emulator of PS2?

  45. eltonBorges
    November 20, 2015 at 7:31 am

    You get it wrong. The problem is the fact that the only way is buying again.

  46. Feniks
    November 20, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Well FF12 came out over ten years ago. That is a long time ago.

    Maybe I’m just not as cheap as the average gamer.

  47. eltonBorges
    November 20, 2015 at 10:07 am

    If you want a better version of the service, if you want to be sure some of your older titles that might never be avaiable again, like SF EX3, KOF Maximum Impact 2 or the Shadow Hearts series can be played in the console, that can do it now, that’s what you call cheap? Boy, oh boy, you sure is smart. That’s smart, ask for less, but always pay more, that is a smart consumer.

  48. s3bbi
    November 20, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Shitty argument because VHS and Blu Ray are different kind of media. Analog and Digital.
    Strangely enough every Blu Ray Player can play DVDs and CDs you bought.

  49. John Tesh
    John Tesh
    November 20, 2015 at 10:28 am

    That’s what I was thinking. Japan have been giving out ‘classic’ games for years now with PS+

  50. John Tesh
    John Tesh
    November 20, 2015 at 10:33 am

    You can put it in. You can put your dick in as well, doesn’t mean it’s gonna play.

  51. John Tesh
    John Tesh
    November 20, 2015 at 10:36 am

    I wouldn’t say they ‘got it right’. There’s only a hundred games so far, and they have to be pre-patched by the individual publishers and downloaded.

    They’ll have it right when all the 360 exclusives (especially Vesperia) are playable.

  52. sAy_YaS
    November 20, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    If I could put my ps2 discs in the system and it would let me download the ps2 classic for free id be all for this. As long as the disc is in the system this would be a smart move for Sony.

  53. LaserCatsAreAwesome
    November 20, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    Not really Sony’s fault, the only actual interesting Star Wars games on PS2 are the Lego games and the Battlefront games but I doubt EA would want those included.

  54. Tyrannikos
    November 21, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Wow, look at that – a way to actually convince me to subscribe to PS+ again!

  55. Ana Helušić
    Ana Helušić
    November 21, 2015 at 4:49 am

    PS4 WINS

  56. SiliconNooB
    November 22, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    I meant that I wish Sony’s first wave of PS2 classics weren’t limited to Star Wars games.