Update: Sony has confirmed to Wired that PlayStation 2 emulation is indeed coming to PlayStation 4, but declined to offer more information.
“We are working on utilizing PS2 emulation technology to bring PS2 games forward to the current generation,” a Sony representative told Wired. “We have nothing further to comment at this point in time.”
In a move that didn't get much notice earlier this week, Sony released a PlayStation 4 Star Wars bundle containing Star Wars: Battlefront as well as four games from the franchise: Super Star Wars, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, Star Wars: Racer Revenge, and Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.
Aside from the fact that the bundle includes a rather cool Darth Vader controller, this news is significant because three of the available games were originally released on the PlayStation 2. Moreover, they are reportedly running with enhanced emulation, with perks including trophy support.
Our sister site Digital Foundry has the full report, and from the sound of it, the new Star Wars releases are just the beginning. Particularly tantalizing is Digital Foundry's assertion that these games might actually run better than they did before, "It's early days right now. In truth it's been a while since we analysed PS2 titles, and getting a clean 480p feed isn't easy - even with backward compatible PS3s in the house. However, it's certainly looking promising. The emulator is clearly running these games more smoothly, with Jedi Starfighter hitting 60fps while the game running on PS2 hardware has nothing like that level of output."
Enhanced PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games have been reported to be on the way to the PlayStation 4 in one way or another for more than a year now. Sony's PlayStation Now service offers access to PlayStation 3 games, but PS1 and PS2 Classics have until now only been available on the PS3. With Microsoft introducing backward compatibility for the Xbox One, Sony has additional impetus to make older games available on the PlayStation Store and elsewhere.
Worth noting is the fact that the PlayStation Experience kicks off early next month, and it should bring with it several announcements. Don't be surprised if PS1 and PS2 Classics are among them. PSX kicks off on December 5th.
In the meantime, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter isn't half bad. It might be fun to revisit some of these older Star Wars games now that they're available on the PlayStation 4.