The lights are on
When Sony first unveiled the PlayStation 4 in February 2013, the purpose behind the acquisition of streaming service Gaikai became clear. At CES this year, we learned about the PlayStation Now streaming service, which is heading into beta soon. With that technology around the corner, it’s surprising to hear that Sony might be planning emulation-based access to PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 titles.
Eurogamer is reporting that software similar to the PlayStation 3’s ability to run PS1 and PS2 software and the Vita’s ability to run PS1 and PSP games is on track for the PlayStation 4. The difference is that on the PlayStation 4, the implementation would be similar to the improved asset rendering found in HD collections.
We haven’t yet experienced “real world” tests of the PlayStation Now service (servers at CES were on-site). Local emulation rather than cloud-based play has the advantage of not being reliant on distant servers or fluctuations in internet connection.
We’ve reached out to Sony for comment on the matter. We’ll update this story should we receive a response.
Our TakeIf the report is accurate, I suspect that the emulation might be a facet of PlayStation Now we haven’t heard about yet. We still don’t know what the business model for the service will be.
If it’s product-based rather than time-based, Sony could offer a tier of purchase that allows customers to keep a local copy of the title. If a monthly subscription is how it will work, a tier of the service could entitle members to a specified number of downloads each month. It will be interesting to see if Sony opens up the back catalog in this way once again.
Email the author Mike Futter, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.