Sony to Charge For PlayStation 2 “Emulation”

by - 5 years ago


Microsoft caught Sony by surprise during E3 this year and announced backwards compatibility for retail Xbox 360 discs on the Xbox One. Technically this requires you to download the previous generation title, and the disc is simply needed for verification purposes. Nevertheless, this is a fantastic incentive which doesn’t cost any money whatsoever. On the other hand, some might argue the Xbox 360 isn’t an expensive console to acquire so it’s not going to entice many Xbox 360 owners to upgrade. Nevertheless, it’s a great addition to the Xbox One and handy if you have space limitations.

The PlayStation 3’s highly complex Cell architecture makes it an incredibly difficult task to emulate. This means it’s sensible for Sony to focus on older emulation via traditional avenues while the PlayStation Now streaming service is used to offer PlayStation 3 games. Unfortunately, Sony will not be offering any support for retail PlayStation 2 discs, and charging for digital copies on the PlayStation Store. The PlayStation Blog revealed Sony’s pricing model and plans for the future:

  • Dark Cloud — $14.99/£11.99
  • Grand Theft Auto III — $14.99/£11.99
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City — $14.99/£11.99
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas — $14.99/£11.99
  • Rogue Galaxy — $14.99/£11.99
  • The Mark of Kri — $14.99/£11.99
  • Twisted Metal: Black — $9.99/£7.99
  • War of the Monsters — $9.99/£7.99

As you can see, this is a fairly expensive proposition on games like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City which can be picked up for £2 in second-hand stores. Although, JRPGs like Rogue Galaxy go for a decent amount of money on the pre-owned market. Nevertheless, physical copies have the advantage of gorgeous artwork and resale value. Additionally, these games can be played quite easily via a PC emulator without any performance problems. Some critics might argue that this is a legal issue, but as long as you own the original games it shouldn’t be frowned upon!

I honestly believe it’s poor form from Sony to charge high prices on PlayStation 2 titles and expect UK customers to pay extra. For example, the $14.99 games actually cost $18.12 in the UK according to the current currency conversion. While the introduction of trophies might add some value, I cannot see the point of purchasing given the cheap price of the PlayStation 2 hardware. That’s not to say there isn’t potential in the scheme, as sale prices would make the games more appealing.

Clearly, some people will purchase these at full price and be content with playing their favourite PlayStation 2 games at 1080P. However, Sony is relying too much on their old library and reselling existing content. This is madness to a PC gamer who can easily up the resolution of a 10 year old game in the future at zero cost.

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