The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling console of all time, but many of its best games are now much harder to access, partly because of a lack of backwards-compatibility with modern systems, and partly because the system is notoriously difficult to emulate. But as it turns out, Microsoft’s new, cheaper system does a pretty good job of it.
As VG247 reports, the Xbox Series S has a feature called “Developer Mode,” and when it’s active it’s possible to run RetroArch emulation on Microsoft’s $299 console. From there, it’s possible to get PS2 games running on Sony’s system. This would be possible on the more powerful Xbox Series X, too.
RetroArch on Xbox isn’t perfect–and games are capped at a 2GB limit, meaning that not every PS2 game is playable–but as you can see in the video below from Modern Vintage Gamer, it’s possible to play PS2 titles like Metal Gear Solid 2 and Jak & Daxter on the console. The controls even work on an Xbox controller.
RetroArch can also emulate other consoles, such as the Nintendo GameCube, but the PS2 is particularly noteworthy because good PS2 emulation is rare. It’s also interesting because while the Xbox Series X/S are backwards compatible with numerous Xbox/Xbox 360 titles, the PlayStation 5 can only run PS4/PS5 titles.
Of course, the Xbox Series X/S are never going to support official PlayStation emulation–but it’ll be interesting to see whether the PS5 eventually introduces better backwards compatibility options.