In a shocking turn of events, it seems like the Xbox Series X|S is capable of emulating PS2 games, while Sony's latest console still can't. PlayStation fans have been begging Sony to implement complete backwards compatibility on the PS4 and PS5 for a long time, so there's an amusing bit of irony in someone getting this to work on a Microsoft console.
However, it's not like the Xbox Series X|S can do this easily, as you can't just insert a PS2 disc and expect it to start working. It's a bit more complicated than that, requiring an actual emulator along with the console being on "Developer Mode."
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RetroArch is a program that is free to use and open-source, allowing users to run game engines, emulators and other applications. You can even use your Xbox controller to play these games. Theoretically, this software should even work on the Xbox Series X.
However, RetroArch hasn't proven to be the greatest fit for the Xbox. It seems as if not every PS2 game is playable, as games can only be downloaded at a 2GB maximum. If a title is larger than this, it will be incompatible.
This situation is pretty amusing, as we can now claim that Xbox successfully runs PS2 games while PS5 does not. Obviously, the effort required to get this to work on an Xbox is pretty high, but at least it's possible.
At this point, we're just hoping Sony somehow figures out a way to make the PS5 backwards compatible with all of its previous consoles. Not only can the Xbox Series X|S play games from the Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, but it seems it can now play PS2 games too. Sony needs to step up its game.