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PS4 to get PS1 and PS2 backwards compatibility

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Sony’s PS4 games console will acquire the ability to play PS1 and PS2 games in the near future, according to a fresh report.

One of the biggest drawbacks of the PS4 (and the Xbox One) is its lack of backwards compatibility. All those physical PS3, PS2, and PS1 games in your library are pretty much useless if you don’t have the original devices to play them on.

PlayStation Now will enable you to stream PS3 games to your PS4 console when it finally launches, but that’s about as far as it goes.

According to Eurogamer, that’s set to change in a pretty radical way. Citing a "well placed source," the report claims that Sony will add the ability to play physical PS1 and PS2 games on your PS4 through emulation.

Even better than that, these games could possible receive HD visual updates more in keeping with the host console and your current 1080p TV set-up.

While Sony seemingly stopped supporting the ability to run previous generation games through emulation after the very first batch of PS3 consoles, the core code has always been there. The PS3’s firmware contains PS1 and PS2 emulators, whilst the PS Vita can run PS1 games in the same way.

It’s a relatively small step, then, for Sony to continue these efforts on the vastly more powerful PS4 - and with native HD resolutions as the target.

If all goes to plan, the report claims that the effect will be be akin to those unofficial PC emulators you see on the internet, or even Sony’s own PS3 HD remasters (think God of War Collection and Jak & Daxter Collection) - super crisp with nary a glitch in sight.

All in all, a single software update would be much more cost effective for Sony than pumping all of those PS1 and PS2 classics over the wires through PlayStation Now - and it would provide a much better gameplay experience to boot.

Next, read our Xbox One vs PS4 comparison

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