PS5, PS4's New PS2 Emulator Fails to Pass Tech Test 1
Image: Push Square

Tech know-it-alls Digital Foundry are not impressed with the latest PS2 emulator on PS5 and PS4, which debuted earlier this month. It compares the experience to “someone booting up an emulator with default settings and handing you the controller”. The experts brutally conclude: “Sure, you can play the game, but wouldn't you prefer for someone who knows and loves the title in question to set it up for you just right?”

The problems are plentiful, although it all seems to stem from a purported “lack of care”. As those of you who’ve already tested out Tomb Raider Legend or Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus will attest, the number of visual filters are few – and the resolution is poor. Digital Foundry notes that “while reports of unchanged resolution vs the PS2 originals are unfounded […] it's an easy mistake to make because the output is scaled in such a way that it looks about as blurry as the original”. It adds: “It's baffling to see how slipshod the scaling is here on PS5 hardware.”

There are positives, though. While performance in Sly Cooper’s case isn’t advanced beyond the standard 30 frames-per-second of the original release, it is much more consistent overall. The ability to toggle between PAL and NTSC builds, as well as the addition of save states and rewind, also adds value beyond Sony’s previous PS2 emulation efforts.

But the bottom line here appears to be that Sony is offering the bare minimum, and you can get a much better experience with free emulators available for PC or even Android handhelds. Hopefully the platform holder is listening to the feedback, and assigns a little more budget to improve the overall experience of these classic games moving forwards.