Sony didn’t say much when fans of its video game consoles and journalists were able to deduce that it was working on bringing popular titles for its PS2 video game console to its PS4. Now we know why, it was already preparing them for release. This past weekend Sony revealed Grand Theft Auto Vice City, Twister Metal and more are a part of its PlayStation Backwards Compatibility plans. Then it made them available for download immediately.
It was on stage during the PlayStation Experience that Sony executives revealed their plan for bringing classics from the PS2 to the PS4. PlayStation Experience was a weekend long event that Sony held for its console fans in the United States December 5th. The company promised reveals for games coming in 2016, plus some big announcements for dedicated fans. No one was expecting to hear about the company bringing classic games forward to the PS4.
As of right now, PS4 owners can purchase 8 PS2 games on their PS4. The line-up consists of Dark Cloud, Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Rogue Galaxy, The Mark of Kri, Twisted Metal: Black and War of the Monsters. Except Twisted Metal and War of the Monsters, each game costs $14.99. Twisted Metal: Black and War of the Monsters are both $9.99 each.
Sony says that each PS2 game being updated for the PS4 comes with access to all the features users would expect of a PS4 game, like Trophies, Share Play, Broadcasting and Remote Play.
Sony also says that it hopes to deliver new games to users over time. PaRappa the Rapper 2 and The King of Fighters were playable at PlayStation Experience, but aren’t available for purchase yet. The PlayStation Blog lists these games as “Coming Soon.” “We will be working tirelessly to bring you your favorite PS2 games with new releases on a regular basis,” the company promises in the blog post from this past weekend.
Sony introduced a PS4 Backwards Compatibility Program made headlines because it signals a huge change in policy for the company. Originally, none of the current-generation living room video game consoles offered backwards compatibility at all, forcing shoppers to hang on to their old systems if they wished to keep their favorite old games.
Sony was the first to do an about-face on this when it revealed PlayStation Now. PlayStation Now is a rental and subscription service that lets owners of the PS4, Bravia televisions and some phones play games on Sony’s servers and stream that footage to their local device. PlayStation Now is a huge selling point for the Sony’s devices. Microsoft nor Nintendo offer anything like PlayStation Now. Sony cut the price of a year-long PlayStation Now membership to $99.
The problem with PlayStation Now was pricing. Many users felt slighted that Sony wanted apparently wanted them to ditch their console and purchased games for a rental service that they’d have to pay to access. Microsoft seized on that opportunity when it unveiled the Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Program. Microsoft is negotiating with publishers to make their old Xbox 360 titles to Xbox One. The program launched with a little over 100 different titles in mid-November. It’ll get new titles each month, just like Sony’s PS4 Backwards Compatibility Program. Microsoft teased on stage that it wouldn’t charge users to get access to the games they already own for their old console, a not so subtle hint at PlayStation Now’s shortcomings.
Sony hasn’t said exactly when PS4 owners can expect it to add those 2 unreleased titles to the PlayStation Store for PS4 owners to purchase. For its part, Microsoft hasn’t revealed this month’s line-up of new titles for the Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Program either.