Update: Sony has officially confirmed the games are running under emulation
Sony may have already enabled the PS4’s long-rumoured PlayStation 2 emulator, according to reports on Thursday.
The Digital Foundry website has found pretty convincing evidence of the backwards compatibility feature within a new Star Wars bundle released for PS4.
The bundle features classic titles Super Star Wars, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, Star Wars: Racer Revenge and Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, three of which are PS2 games.
Explaining the four-pronged logic behind its suspicions, Digital Foundry pointed out the start and select buttons are mapped to the DualShock 4 controller’s trackpad. The site explains third-party developers don’t have this system-level access.
Secondly, the site reports there’s “an emulation system in place for handling PS2 memory cards,” just like the respective feature on the PS3.
Also, the most convincing evidence comes through the presence of the PlayStation 2 logo when booting up the game!
The report also rules out a remaster because “all of the in-game prompts relate to the PS2’s controller.”
The games in question are also operating at around 4x the resolution of the original, meaning there some serious upscaling going on too.
See also: Can you play PS3 games on PS4?
Rumours suggesting Sony plans to include emulator support for PS1 and PS2 classics have been rife since early 2014.
The most recent update for the PS4 also contained hints, leading to speculation an official launch was imminent, perhaps to counter the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility.
However, Sony has remained tight-lipped until this point. Whether an announcement will be forthcoming now the cat is out of the bag remains to be seen.
How long before the full library of well over 1,000 PS2 titles are available on the new console?
The site has posted a hands-on video with the emulator, which you can see below.