1) No PlayStation 2 disc supportOne of the major advantages of Xbox One’s backwards compatibility is how it incorporates the original Xbox 360 discs. Players can insert their discs into an Xbox One and receive the game as a free download. This means that not only do gamers have options when it comes to pricing, but also that the discs have a stronger resale value in game stores. For someone like myself who has a couple hundred games on their original disc format, it’s a major convenience to have the game at hand and ready to play. Currently, there are no plans to add disc-based support for PS2 games on the PS4, but this is something that needs to be wholly reconsidered. Firstly, by excluding discs from the equation the list of games will never be complete. Sure, you might not care about something like Little Britain: The Videogame or Crazy Frog Racer but the freedom to pop any disc in and play would have been huge.
For PS4, these are all useless.Lots of popular games like Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Spider-Man 2 will likely never make the jump to digital purely because the rights have changed hands – the Star Wars games managed to survive this, but the majority of licensed games will never see the light of day on the PlayStation Store. Similarly, games which have had major legal issues will probably be exempt from inclusion – look at the whole issue with voice actors in Silent Hill 2 and 3, for example. Konami don’t own the rights to use the original dialogue for the third game, meaning it was redone for the much-maligned Silent Hill HD Collection. By allowing disc based games to run without any interference, they would bypass these legal landmines and allow gamers to play what they want, when they want, exactly as they were originally designed. Now would be the opportune time for Sony to incorporate full offline disc-based support but they’re withholding on it, as the tech behind the emulation offers 1080p upscaling and…
2) PlayStation TrophiesIn my personal opinion, trophies and achievements are pointless accolades which add nothing to my experience as a player. However, the majority of modern gamers embrace them and they are seen as a vital component of Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network. But… there is absolutely no reason to retroactively add trophy support into PlayStation 2 games. They just don’t belong there, it would change the way new players experience these classics dramatically and encourage ruthless, disconnected playthroughs that lose emotional investment in favour of bragging rights. Again, the Silent Hill HD Collection and to a much lesser extent the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection showed that trophies do not fit older games and can impact the experience dramatically. It’s easy to say ‘but you can just disable notifications and pretend they don’t exist!’ but their inclusion is being touted by Sony as one of the main reasons for…
3) The costYou can easily find a copy of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for around £2, maybe less. Yes, it’s a critically acclaimed classic that wowed a generation, but it’s incredibly common. So why is a digital copy on PS4 £11.99? The price point for PS2 games is absolutely baffling – sure, for something like Dark Cloud or Rogue Galaxy these prices fit with the value of physical copies, but the fact that no PS2 game is less than £7.99 on PS4 is ridiculous. These aren’t remakes or high definition remasters like Resident Evil HD or the recent Final Fantasy VII port, these are the games running as they did on the PS2 through a HDMI signal. The upscale is not worth the price difference and the trophy inclusion certainly isn’t either – the charge is for the convenience of playing these older games on your main machine, simple as. The cost is way too high for what’s being offered and it’s putting many players off of purchasing these classic titles. When it works out cheaper to buy the original console and the physical discs just for the GTA trilogy alone, there’s definitely a problem.
4) It can’t compete with PCSX2PCSX2 is the go-to emulator for PlayStation 2 games on the PC. Though some games are yet to be supported and others run with errors, the majority of PS2 titles work great with the program. Though you’ll need to have a good computer to run the games properly, the emulation works wonders with older titles and makes them look better than ever. With the addition of shaders to clean up graphics, higher resolution outputs and patches to enable true widescreen with 60 frames per second, PCSX2 is a fantastic creation that keeps getting better. Plus, you can play from your original discs. Check it out: If this program can be developed and distributed for free, then why is the PS4 emulation software so expensive? The smart move would have been for Sony to work with the PCSX2 developers and create an emulator on the PS4 as an app, allowing people to play their discs through it - as well as release downloadable games for those harder to find titles. Imagine being able to play almost any PS2 game, from the bottom of the bargain bin to the top of the mountain, in full HD. That's something #ps2ps4 simply can't deliver if it continues like this. However, it is still early days and a lot could change with player feedback. Here's hoping that some of these issues are addressed and rectified, allowing backwards compatibility to truly shine as a feature of the PlayStation 4. In the meantime however, I'll be wiring up my slimline whenever I want my PS2 fix.
What do you think? Are you happy with PS4 backwards compatibility? What PS2 titles would you like to see added the PSN Store? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @gamefaceshow!
Jordan's love for video games started with late night sessions of Streets of Rage II. Almost two decades later, not much has changed. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.