Although Sony has yet to make any major announcements regarding the PlayStation 5, fans of the PlayStation 4 may now have good reason to be hopeful that they will be able to play current generation games on the next iteration of Sony’s console. A recent report detailed changes made earlier this month to one of Sony’s US patents, originally filed in 2015, suggesting that Sony may be looking at making the PlayStation 5 backward compatible with PlayStation 4 games.
The patent, which was updated on February 13, notes “Backward compatibility testing of software in a mode that disrupts timing.” While this is not confirmation that the next PlayStation console will feature backward compatibility, it does strongly suggest that Sony is either carrying out, or has carried out, testing for the feature. The most likely reason for this testing would certainly be for the PlayStation 5, which some predict will be released as soon as later this year.
While many gamers would no doubt be pleased to see the PlayStation 5 announced at Sony’s E3 presentation in June, Sony itself has cautioned fans that it could yet be “some time” before an announcement comes. Although those statements were made about eight months ago, and do not necessarily preclude an E3 2018 appearance. While this change in patent could herald a change in direction from Sony, the company has also made comments in the past reinforcing its stance against backward compatibility.
At present, Sony’s PlayStation 4 does not feature backward compatibility for older PlayStation titles, except via the PlayStation Now service, which enables users to stream games from a library of PS3 and PS4 titles. However, the console itself will not play older games outside of this service, and Sony has historically taken a stance against the feature.
Speaking to Time Magazine in June of last year, Jim Ryan, President of Sony Interactive Entertainment, stated that backward compatibility “is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much,” and expressed disbelief at people really wanting to play PS1 or PS2 games. Given that, and other comments made by Sony, PlayStation fans should probably refrain from getting too hopeful about seeing backward compatibility as a feature for the next PlayStation console.
Although it is always possible that Sony may have changed their stance in recent months, and this new patent change is certainly a sign that the feature may be undergoing newfound consideration by the company, only time will tell whether Sony actually implements it or not in any of their forthcoming projects.
Source: PlayStation Universe