Sony Patents Mechanism That Would Seemingly Allow Backward Compatibility on Potential PS5

Sony has filed a new patent in Japan that could give us one of our first indications for what's in store with the PS5.

By Logan Moore

February 1, 2019

Sony has recently registered a new patent that could provide some interesting information on where the company is looking to go with future hardware after the PS4.

As reported by Hokanko-Alt, Sony filed a new patent with the Japanese Patent Office that allows a console CPU to determine whether or not the software it is reading is made for current hardware or past. If it learns that the software in question is from a previous device, the CPU then impersonates the old hardware CPU which would then allow that software to run on the device. Basically, it’s a mechanism that is solely suited to allowing backward compatibility for past generation video games.

Of course, this mechanism raises a lot of eyebrows as we begin to tiptoe closer to the next generation of consoles and in Sony’s case, a presumed PS5. While this patented device is by no means a guarantee to appear on the eventual PS5 when it inevitably arrives, it seems like a pretty good bet that Sony is looking into adding it. It’s also worth noting that the inventor of this device as noted on the patent is that of Mark Cerny, who is well-known for being one of the primary designers of the PS4. Whether or not Cerny is also architecting the PS5 isn’t known to the public.

Honestly, if Sony isn’t looking to add backward compatibility for the PS5 then they will likely have a massive issue on their hands, so it seems more than likely that this mechanism would be added to the console. Despite Sony’s dominance with the PS4 over the past few years, backward compatibility is the only glaring issue that the console has never allowed for. It’s also one of the only major ways in which Sony’s direct competitor in Microsoft has been able to get a leg up on them in recent years through all of the backward compatibility additions that have come to Xbox One. In my opinion, PS5 being backward compatible with PS4 games is more essential than it would be just a nice bonus feature.

We’ll surely learn more about whatever a potential PS5 will have in store for us in the coming year or so. Until Sony says anything officially though, we’re all just taking our best guesses at what they might decide to do down the road.

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Logan Moore

Logan Moore is the Managing Editor around these parts and enjoys the video game Super Mario Odyssey.

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