PlayStation 5 News: Possible backwards compatibility with PS4, PS3, PS2 and PSX systems hinted by Sony filing a patent about a method for more accurate backwards compatibility – Could the PS5 be the ultimate console that replaces almost every other home console out there?
PlayStation 5 news is quite scarce and the rumours that have surfaced didn’t shed much light on Sony’s plans for this hypothetical upcoming home console. However, something substantial about a potential PS5 has now surfaced and that is possible backwards compatibility with all previous PlayStation models!
What do we know?
From what could be discerned by flicking through various websites, the news about the PS5 being potentially backwards compatible with previous PlayStation models comes from an article on a Japanese website (Hokanko-alt) who reported about Sony registering a patent having to do with backwards compatibility. Apparently, this patent discuses a more accurate method for achieving backwards compatibility by deceiving software written for older systems that it’s running on the original CPU. According to Sony’s patent, this method can eliminate synchronisation errors which may lead to data being written over prematurely and other side effects while emulating an older system on newer hardware. Other than this, it’s also been revealed that the PlayStation 5 could have helper CPUs like the PS2’s Emotion Engine as they might be too difficult to emulate through software.
When looking at the above information, it seems that Sony is patenting common emulation techniques but some individuals online have pointed out that the current description of the patent is somewhat vague. As a result, the patent in question could be referring to some type of hardware-assisted emulation, a more accurate way of switching between multiple CPUs of different architecture and/or more accurate CPU clock governing to provide the most accurate emulation experience possible. On the other hand, Ars Technica says that the PlayStation 5 might be a PS4 Pro-esque update and the patent might not be referring to backwards compatibility with PS1-PS3 consoles.
What would this mean for the normal user?
If the PS5 were to have backwards compatibility with all previous PlayStation models, it would be quite huge for many console gamers. This is because:
- With one console, you’d be able to play through the library of a 5 different home consoles which would let you play thousands of games without having to switch consoles
- To complement the PS5’s hypothetical backwards compatibility features, the PlayStation Store could get many more older games added to it which would make acquiring older console games much less of a pain especially if they’re priced decently
- Such a PS5 console could have a great deal of hacking potential as the PS3/PS2 emulation software could be more prone to hacking than the native software similar to the PSP emulator on the PSVita
- Technology using Artificial Intelligence to upscale lower resolution images to a higher resolution is currently being developed which means that the PS5 could potentially have upscaling capabilities that make older games look better!
- If the PS5 gets native hacks, more emulators could be installed on it which would allow you to emulate almost every console released before it with the exception of 8th generation consoles.
As usual, such rumours should be taken with a grain of salt since Sony hasn’t mentioned anything about the backwards compatibility features potentially being hinted by the patent application they filed.
However, Sony does seem to be taking interesting in retro gaming with their PlayStation Classic micro-console (which isn’t all too good) and Digital Foundry writer John Linneman has stated on Twitter that there’s “zero question” about the PlayStation 5 being backwards compatible with the PlayStation 4 which seems that at least some of what the internet is concluding about the patent may be true.