Sony Patent Ignites Speculation for PlayStation 5 Backwards Compatibility

A deluge of speculation for Sony’s next home console, presumably to be named the PlayStation 5, will have backwards compatibility like the original PlayStation 2 and first-generation PlayStation 3 had.

The speculation came after a 2016 patent by Sony for “Remastering by Emulation” was updated for the current year.

John Oliver memes aside, the patent certainly sounds like it could be used towards backwards compatibility, or it could also be for Sony’s remastered re-releases.

Here’s a blurb from the patent:

Each asset such as a texture called for by legacy software such as a legacy computer game software has a unique identifier associated with it. The unique identifier can be rendered by imposing a hash on the asset, and then the asset stored with its identifier in a data structure. An artist remasters the textures for presentation on a higher resolution display than envisioned in the original software, and stores them back in the data structure with their identifiers. The original software is then played on the higher resolution display, with asset (such as texture) calls being intercepted, identified, and the data structure entered to retrieve the remastered asset having a matching identifier. The remastered asset is then inserted on the fly into the game presentation.

Make of that what you will – in my humble opinion this could definitely be used for Sony’s current generation remasters, which they re-release as new products, not the ability to pop in an old game disc and have it run on your newer gaming console.

Other websites and communities started immediately speculating the timing of the patent being renewed, coupled with the usual timing of Sony’s home console reveals to actual shipping, could mean this means the next Sony home console will have backwards compatibility.

It’s worth pointing out that Sony’s hardware cycle tends to be every six years, meaning PlayStation 5 could definitely be revealed in 2019 – following the PlayStation 4 reveal back in 2013.

Do you think Sony could finally be offering proper backwards compatibility, with their next console? Sound off in the comments below!

Brandon Orselli

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Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.