PS2 on PS4
I went on a bit of a PS4 shopping spree this week, and had the opportunity to grab The King of Fighters 2002 and Parappa the Rapper 2 for the PlayStation 4’s PS2 emulator, and I must say it’s quite impressive.
Sony doesn’t get enough credit for this, but they are currently alone in the industry to be rereleasing emulated versions of titles for their older consoles that run at a higher native resolution than the originals, effectively offering an official alternative to what people were already doing with PS2 emulators on PCs, minus the hassle. While rendering at 1080p isn’t magically going to make PS2 era character models and environments age well, cel-shaded games with simple geometry like Parappa look absolutely amazing. It really made me wish games like Klonoa 2 and Dragon Quest VIII get rereleased on the PS4 store at some point.
Alongside the upgrade in resolution, PS2 games on PS4 also have achievements, generally tied to chapter completion or similar milestones that are easy to pick up on. The Share button also works within PS2 games, so you can easily upload replays or stream yourself playing through classics without needing any additional capture equipment. It’s really nice, but as usual, the big limiting factor to this is Sony’s limited collection. These are seemingly separate purchases from PS2 Classics from the PS3 era, and the catalog is currently limited to sixteen games. While I have no doubt more will be added over time, the North American digital offerings for PSone Classics and PSP digital titles have always been way behind on the Japanese store, and I’m hoping they do a better job of fleshing out the collection on PS4 than they did last generation.
Even as someone with a PS2 that’s hooked up and always ready to go, it is incredibly tempting for me to buy all my future PS2 titles on PS4. It’s cheaper, more convenient, and more modern, but there’s no telling how long it’ll take before the games I’m interested in playing show up there.