Sony’s PlayStation 2 Just Got Hacked After 20 Years – And It’s Excellent

The PlayStation 2 finally has an easily-replicated exploit that anyone with a CD burner can do. Here's why that's great news for everyone, including Sony.
  • The Sony PlayStation 2 was one of the most popular consoles of all time.
  • Recently, someone discovered an exploit that allows anyone to run their own homebrew software on the system.
  • Not only is this great for the homebrew scene, but it could be great for Sony.

Sony’s PlayStation 2 has been around for about 20 years. During that time, it has garnered one of the biggest game libraries of all time. Not to mention some incredible sales numbers.

Despite being two decades old, there is still a thriving homebrew scene. The scene just got a big boost as well. Someone has figured out how to crack a PS2 via the DVD player. Now anyone can burn and run homebrew and game backups.

It looks like it’s time for Sony just to release an official PlayStation 2 emulator.

The news became the butt end of jokes, but folks in the PS2 homebrew scene got excited. | Source: Twitter

Playstation 2 Homebrew Is About to Explode

Last month, the source code for the original Xbox console was leaked. At the time, I made the argument that Microsoft should just release an official emulator in response.

I feel like that argument goes just as much for the PlayStation 2. It was one of the most popular consoles of all time. There are plenty of people with fond memories of the system and its games.

Only around 50 PlayStation 2 ports are currently available on PS4. If Sony were to release an official emulator with a full team behind it, everyone would be able to play the games that they loved growing up.

Legitimized Emulation Is Tricky but Worth the Effort

There are certainly a lot of hurdles when producing a for-profit emulator for your hardware. Offering downloadable ISO files of Sony’s first- and second-party titles would be great. However, licensing the rest of the library would be insanely tricky these days.

With such a big library, many PlayStation 2 games’ licenses have been lost to time. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to license those games today. That doesn’t stop people from buying second-hand copies, of course.

Then that poses another issue. These days, most people don’t tend to have disc drives in their laptops or PCs. Optical media just isn’t as popular as it used to be. Either way, an official PlayStation 2 emulator would benefit Sony and the world at large.

As well as being a revenue source, it would also help the preservation of one of the biggest game libraries in history.

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Published:
June 29, 2020 11:40 PM UTC
Posted in: GamingOp-ed
More of: PlayStation 2
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William Worrall @mizushinzui

William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Visit his website, contact him at william.worrall@ccn.com, see his LinkedIn profile here, or check him out on Muck Rack.