PlayStation 5 Backward Compatibility Hinted In New Sony Patent


The successor to the PlayStation 4 Pro might be able to play older games, a recently surfaced patent from Sony suggests.

The patent, with the publication number 2019-503013, was actually filed two years ago on Jan. 20 and was only published on Jan. 31, 2019 by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Inventors listed include Mark Cerny, lead architect of the PS4, and Mark Cerny and Simon Pilgrim, principal programer at Sony Entertainment Europe.

One of the first listings on Pilgrim's LinkedIn page reveals that he worked on "developing optimized cross platform maths, animation and geometry libraries for PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 platforms." Suffice it to say that Pilgrim is an expert when it comes to these systems, and him being listed in the patent suggests that the PlayStation 5 will be able to run games that originally ran on these platforms.

The patent first appeared on J-PlatPat, with a detailed analysis available on Hokanko.

Legacy Devices

One of the processes detailed on the patent is a system that is able to run software from legacy devices perfectly on a new device. However, it also states that although new systems have a faster processor, the new architecture might not match closely enough with previous ones and thus could make it difficult to run older titles.

The trick, as noted in the patent, is to mimic legacy devices. There are diagrams included that suggest this system "spoofs" processor IDs to facilitate such an emulation process.

Backward Compatibility

To be clear, the patent doesn't namedrop any previous consoles. However, it is heavily speculated that the patent is for the PS5 and that it will be able to emulate not just a few but all previous Sony consoles, including the PS4, PS3, PS2 and the original PlayStation.

Nothing is certain, of course, and every rumor or speculation must be taken with a grain of salt. Not to mention the fact that a patent isn't a guarantee of anything — oftentimes companies file them as preemptive efforts to enforce ample protection just in case, say, another company tries to claim an already patented technology as its own.

Furthermore, the patent only mentions a new device application, and could very well point to these techniques being used on the PS4 for emulation purposes. In other words, nothing is set in stone.

Still, the prospects of a fully backward compatible PS5 is enough to trigger fans into a frenzy. Who can blame them, though?

Make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more about the PS5. In the meantime, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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