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Report: PlayStation 4 to emulate PS1 and PS2 games locally, at HD resolutions

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Posted on January 28, 2014 AT 12:47pm

According to a new report, Sony is considering software emulation options for running PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 games on the PS4 in high-definition resolutions.

The rumor, reported by Eurogamer, indicates that the company won’t be relying solely on their remote streaming service, PlayStation Now, to make their new console backwards compatible with older titles. Instead, they’ll also offer a way to emulate PlayStation 1 and 2 games locally. The methodology is expected to be the same as on PlayStation 3, with older titles made available for purchase and download from the PlayStation Network store, then run off the hard drive using software emulation.

Apparently, however, their strategy  won’t stop at simply getting those titles up and running on the PlayStation 4. In addition, Sony is allegedly working on technology that would allow the games to run natively in HD. That’s a step above the tech that’s currently used on PS3, where the image is rendered at its original resolution and then upscaled with a predictably blurry outcome. While the textures and models would remain unchanged, the image itself would be much sharper.

Perhaps just as importantly, local emulation would allow classic PlayStation games to run lag-free and without a persistent Internet connection—an undoubted boon to anyone without sufficiently fast or consistent service to make game streaming a viable option.

There’s no word on if or when Sony will announce this second backwards-compatibility initiative to the public.

PlayStation Now, for its part, is expected to launch on PS3 and PS4 sometime this summer, with support for the Vita, tablets, smartphones, and Sony-branded TVs coming at a later date.

Josh Harmon, Associate Editor
Josh Harmon picked up a controller when he was 3 years old—and he hasn't looked back since. This has made him particularly vulnerable to attacks from behind. He joined EGM as an intern following a brief-but-storied career on a number of small gaming blogs across the Internet. Follow him on Twitter @jorshy. Meet the rest of the crew.

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