PS4's New Star Wars PS2 Game Emulation Examined

Overall improvements across the board.

66 Comments

This week marked the release of several PlayStation 2 games for PlayStation 4, albeit only for those who purchased the new Star Wars Battlefront system bundle. Rather than being remastered in some way, these versions instead appear to be running on an emulator that upscales them, according to a report by Digital Foundry.

Sony hasn't officially said that these PS2 games--Star Wars: Racer Revenge, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, and Star Wars: Bounty Hunter--are running on an emulator, but Digital Foundry identifies a number of signs that this is the case. These include notifications that the trackpad's two sides have been remapped to Select and Start, the way in which the memory card is handled, and the look of the PS2 logo.

The video above compares the PS4 versions of these games with the PS2 versions (running on a backwards-compatible PS3). You can see the graphics are looking better, thanks in part to the pixel count being roughly quadrupled. "Overall impressions are positive--there's little that can be done to improve the quality of 2D assets, but the improvements to the 3D side of things are welcome," Digital Foundry says. "It looks like some kind of post-process effect is in place mimicking anti-aliasing--edges are surprisingly smooth, and there's little in the way of shimmer."

The report also calls attention to the addition of Trophies, which obviously weren't present in the PS2 originals. It's possible these were added through a method outlined in a patent that Sony applied for in 2013. (It's also since patented technology for adding content to emulated games, but that doesn't appear to be at work in any of these games.)

Alongside the release of these three PS2 games, SNES game Super Star Wars was also re-released on PS4 this week. While it, too, was bundled with the Battlefront system, it's available for purchase from the PlayStation Store on PS4 and Vita.

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Avatar image for PETERAKO
PETERAKO

YAY 3 star wars games, that were not that good.

Avatar image for neowarrior793
neowarrior793

befor people jump the gun both the ps1 and ps2 emulation is and has always been possible, its actaully very easy to do for the ps4 BUT dont think that because of this the ps3 can be emulated, its stupidly hard to try and emulate that cell based processor that the games are optimised for. they will struggle to even attempt this because of the power required to just emulate that processor so these games would work, this will mean 2 OS's running with each other that are just so diffrent it would just crash and not work. tho its possible if they made the ps4 run only one OS at a time BUT that would leave the ps4 open to hacking and people pirating games (which sony would not like).

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

@neowarrior793: I'll be happy with PS2 emulation. I don't think they will even attempt PS3 emulation, but PS2 would be awesome.

Avatar image for itchyflop
itchyflop

i don understand why i can only get super star wars on the vita or ps4, can some one advise, i have star wars bf.

thanks

Avatar image for The1stFishBone
The1stFishBone

Come on Sony please let us play our old PS2 disks. My PS2 died long ago. Even if you charge 50 bucks for the software, I'd download it.

Avatar image for mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

If I were able to play time splitters I'd be happy

Avatar image for hyksiu
hyksiu

How about ps3 emulation?

Avatar image for Zombrex
Zombrex

@hyksiu: Trickier because of the Cell processor technology. Even though most scream "Impossible!" I think just about anything can be emulated through software if you assign the assets to the right places.

Avatar image for mknerd
MKNerd

They need to bring back the original Battlefront games. I'd much rather play that than the new 'Battlefront'.

Avatar image for factory_666
factory_666

@mknerd: Those games haven't age too well unfortunately. Played BF2 recently and had a hard time enjoying it. Back in the day I loved both of course.

Avatar image for ayumi_azui
ayumi_azui

@factory_666: Battlefront 1 is way better than 2 though..

Avatar image for factory_666
factory_666

@ayumi_azui: In my book BF2 was the same as first one only with good character animations, more levels, weapons, space combat, funner maps.

Avatar image for Zombrex
Zombrex

@factory_666: I play the PSP version on my Vita TV and don't have much issue with it. Muddy looking for sure, but definitely more enjoyable.

Avatar image for Smosh150
Smosh150

@Zombrex: mmm Elite Forces was awesome. I usually get on people who say "It has no story so no buy", but the story in that was rather entertaining, that and the melee combat was pretty satisfying. Jeez, now that I think about it Elite Forces was the most advanced Battlefront(excluding Free Radical's, which is rather interesting as it has the same story and characters).

Avatar image for factory_666
factory_666

@Zombrex: PSP one was a lot of fun. Haven't touched that in like 7 years, but I liked it a lot.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico
LTJohnnyRico

@mknerd: No !! Played Battlefront 2 the other day (a little nostalgia moment) It hasn't ages well !! The new Game is Far better, its better looking, Better Sounding and has way better physics. I loved the Old Games but I wouldn't want to play them over the new Game now !!

Avatar image for deactivated-5893d17ed65b4

So if you're going to do BC, do it where the games are truly dated. The last gen BC stuff is just stupid. Especially 2 years in to this gen.

Avatar image for Kunakai
Kunakai

@Lacerz: Not necessarily. I never owned a PS3, so the ability to go back and play some of the exclusives I've missed would make for an appealing incentive.

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

Dry run for PS2 emulation on PS4? Here's hoping!

Avatar image for Smosh150
Smosh150

If I owned a PS4, I would totally buy Bounty Hunter again. People can say what they like, that game provided me with over 200+ hours of entertainment(I can't even count the amount of times I played missions over). That game was just so much fun, plus it's Jango, how can you not love it.

Avatar image for factory_666
factory_666

@Smosh150: A Fett game has always been something I wanted to play. But I heard nothing but scorn about Bountyhunter (especially upon release) until I read your opinion above. Does it have an open world or something (hence 200+ hours)? I'll consider picking it up for my PS2.

Avatar image for Smosh150
Smosh150

@factory_666: No open world, when I was younger I literally had a Star Wars obsession so a lot of these games had more replayability than what most people would find in it. 200 in this is nothing, I can't even count how many in the Battlefront games. Maybe it is just nostalgia or my age, but I did play it a few years back(Still have my gamecube back at home) and I thought it was fun.

Best thing I can say is try it yourself, the level design was fantastic, the movement mechanics were awesome, it was fun as hell to mess with enemies(Particularly with the cable), and the game could be very challenging. I can't see the opinions of some on that game, but overall I found very entertaining.

Avatar image for itchyflop
itchyflop

@Smosh150: my regret is i never finished it, hell of a game.

I have star wars BF but not the premium bundle, does this mean i cant replay bounty hunter?

thanks

Apparently the nintendo cube version was the best for bounty hunter, ill go buy one of them and play it :)

Avatar image for Smosh150
Smosh150

@itchyflop: "I have star wars BF but not the premium bundle, does this mean i cant replay bounty hunter?"

I honestly can't tell you, I don't own BF, only played BF a bit and it wasn't my own. I don't know the full details so you may have to ask someone with more knowledge on the subject, was mainly just expressing my love for this game and how great it is to bring it to the new generation.

Anyway you are correct, I had the game cube version, game cube is still my favorite console ever lol(You can get them pretty cheap I believe).

Avatar image for BruceWayneJr
BruceWayneJr

I want these three games more than I want Battlefront.

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StonerDemon

Eurogamer is the place to read about this. I'll be back.

Avatar image for deactivated-58183aaaa31d8

Sony should give it a serious thought about doing the same for real. PS Now is already a failure and always will be. Just suck is up and give us proper backwards compatibility!

Avatar image for Aaronspark777
Aaronspark777

@dexda: well ps now only exists because ps3 emulation is impossible on ps4. That's why only ps3 games are on ps now.

Avatar image for deactivated-58183aaaa31d8

@Aaronspark777: Nothing is impossible. Xbox One is lower power than PS4 and manages to emulate Xbox 360 well. There is no excuse. It can be done and the only thing stopping it is Sony because they were dumb enough to waste billions on their PS Now servers for a service no one asked for or wants.

The CELL processor might be a problem because of how utterly terrible it was but that doesn't mean it isn't possible.

Avatar image for ayumi_azui
ayumi_azui

@dexda: Somewhat misleading comment, emulation is highly cpu dependant. It is pretty amazing that they can emulate the POWER cpu on an x86, and it was a 3.2GHz tri core at that.

Avatar image for deactivated-58183aaaa31d8

@ayumi_azui: Xbox 360 and PS3 were similar in power to each other. So just from a power point of view the fact the 360 is currently being emulated on the Xbox One means it is possible to run an emulator of a last gen console using current gen computer hardware.

The problem comes from how shit the PS3s CPU was and how well the emulation is done. Done by a professional (and not some uni graduate in their spare time like most PC emulators) and there is no doubt it will be possible. Even for PS3.

Well look at it this way, on PC no proper PS3 and Xbox 360 emulators have been made. Even on the higher power of the PCs and their open source community. Yet Microsoft has bashed on out in the last year or so.

I'm certain that even with PS3s problems if Sony WANTED to create a PS3 emulator for PS4 they could put the correct people onto the job and make it happen.

Avatar image for Akabuu
Akabuu

@Aaronspark777: **** PS3 games, for that i have my PS3. I wanna play my PS2 games, like MicroMachines V4. pls sony D:

Avatar image for deactivated-58183aaaa31d8

@Akabuu: Hey frankly if they can create a PS3 emulator they should have no issues putting a PS1 and 2 emulator together. Even my laptop can run the PS2 emulators out right now. PS4 would have no problem.

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

@Akabuu: For that you have your PS2.

Avatar image for Smosh150
Smosh150

@Akabuu: So does everybody own a PS3 now? I do, but I think there is more of a demand for PS3 games rather than PS2.

Avatar image for deactivated-5893d17ed65b4

@Smosh150: I own a PS3. It's my bedroom's Stream/DVD/Blu-ray player. I have a lot of games for it that I need to play, but I think I'm going to die with a backlog the size of the Smithsonian. One of the negatives of being a Playstation gamer. Too many games.

Avatar image for Smosh150
Smosh150

@Lacerz: Cool, not sure how it really applies to my comment other than stating that a great deal of games came out for it. Though I agree, I beat most of my PS games with the last one being the NHL 13(Not that it can really be finished, sports games are like that), but yea.

Avatar image for Akabuu
Akabuu

@Smosh150: I'm not saying it's for the higher demand of one platform over the other. I'm saying PS2 needs it more than PS3 certainly. Expecially with games like the one i mentioned with +2 multiplayer, where besides having to buy a PS2 and controllers, you also needed the adapter and memory card. And honestly, i'm guessing most people who wouldn't have a previous gen console right now would be people who have a current gen console as their first console,or sold their previous gen one, in either case, i'm guessing they wouldn't care much for their older games then.

Avatar image for Smosh150
Smosh150

@Akabuu: Mmmk I can agree for sure, I still have my PS2 back at my home, but having them ported to the PS4 would be fantastic. A lot of the Y/Z generation missed out on those types of games and introducing them on these newer platforms could garner a lot of interest in them(Possibly leading to sequels). I don't own a PS4 and don't plan to, but I still agree with this.

Avatar image for Akabuu
Akabuu

@Smosh150: Oh man, a new MicroMachines would be dope. Or a new GOOD Spider-man game, from the makers of Spider-man 2 AKA best spider-man. (Incidentally, if you liked that game you'll be happy to know the developers of that amazing web-slinging are making a game)

Avatar image for Smosh150
Smosh150

@Akabuu: All my yes for a new Spider man game from them. One of the few that actually had swinging mechanics that relied a structures higher than you. The sequels after that were silly as you didn't really need that to swing, just hold the button and you could go anywhere. One of the best games of that generation imo, it was just so much fun.

Avatar image for Akabuu
Akabuu

@Smosh150: Sadly i am aware of Spider-man's history in gaming after that one. Cue 2012's Amazing Spider-man web swinging over a park.

Avatar image for Smosh150
Smosh150

@Akabuu: lol yea, love that guy too he is hilarious. Who knows, maybe we will get a good Spiderman game soon.

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@Smosh150: Pretty sure GameStop would not have started buying PS2 games and consoles again if there was no demand.

Avatar image for Smosh150
Smosh150

@Barighm: Didn't say that(You misread my comment), I am saying that I think there is more of a demand for PS3 games over PS2 on the PS4. If I owned a PS4 I would advocate for PS2 games myself, but this is just from what I have seen online, not facts, just my opinion.

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xolivierx

hey Gamespot. Why do I ave to ''join the conversation'' in order to read comments when I'm logged on?
get your sh** together.

Also, why don't I see the ''recent'' section while on the main page? It should load automatically instead of ''recommended''.

And change your stupid video player. It works 1/10 on 2 different computers with different settings. All the other websites' players work flawlessly.

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Smosh150

@xolivierx: I haven't had that issue with the recent button, it always loads up to that category for me. I can see how that is an annoying, everything else I totally agree on though, the video player is hell(I literally go to youtube to watch Gamespot videos) and this new article system is just weird and is actually a bit laggy upon loading(Not sure of the appropriate way to state this). Gamespots changes over the last year have just been weird, Livefyre sucked, but it was a hell of a lot better than the new comment system.

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Yomigaeru

@xolivierx: That video player has been wreaking havoc on all my PCs. There's too much stutter in the playback, so I just opt to watch whatever they posted elsewhere (since it's mostly just trailers and such).

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