For quite a while, industry analysts have projected that the PS5 will likely include backward compatibility as a feature once it's eventually announced to the public, but Sony Interactive Entertainment has yet to confirm as much. Now, according to a new patent registered by the Japanese tech firm, it looks as if the fifth console for the company may actually prove analysts right by including backward compatibility in the next system's hardware.
According to the patent, PS5 backward compatibility could apply to the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and even original the PlayStation games on the next generation console, which would be great news for players who have saved all of their games for the systems. The patent is titled “Remastering by emulation”, and it's registered to Sony Interactive Entertainment America LLC, which is the parent company of the PlayStation brand. A summary of the patent can be found below:
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.
Delving into the summary, the language used in the patent definitely reads as if it is alluding to backward compatibility for the PS5. Plus, it's worth noting that this filing is similar to another patent that Sony filed several months ago, wherein it described a "backward compatibility testing of software in a mode that disrupts timing", so the evidence appears to be mounting that the tech firm could be taking steps toward including the highly desired feature in its next console.
All things considered, both critics and fans alike have rightfully praised Microsoft for its massive support of Xbox and Xbox 360 games through Xbox One backward compatibility, and if Sony goes the same direction with the PS5, then it will surely be welcomed with open arms by gamers of all ilk and creed. Not to mention, should backward compatibility all the way back to PS1 be in the cards, then Sony will have a huge advantage over its competition when the PS5 is announced.