While we're still a ways off from hearing anything about Sony's newest PlayStation model (perhaps at E3?), rumors are circulating that the company is adding a rather big feature to the system that fans have been requesting – backward compatibility.
According to a report from PlayStation Universe, a recent update to the company's US patent indicates that the next PlayStation system won't just take advantage of the newest games on the market – it'll be able to play PlayStation 4 games as well.
The patent clearly notes, "Backward compatibility testing of software in a mode that disrupts timing." We're not sure about the "disrupt timing" part of it, but "backward compatibility" is as clear as day.
The patent was originally filed back in 2015, when Sony no doubt laid the groundwork for its next system to come, even with the thriving popularity of the PlayStation 4.
Now, this is not a finalized feature by any means, but it sounds like Sony could be giving it heavy consideration. The PlayStation 4 isn't currently capable of any kind of backward compatibility, although players can enjoy a handful of PlayStation 2 classics remade for the platform, as well as a number of PlayStation 3 games offered through the cloud-based PlayStation Now service.
And it would kind of go against the grain in terms of Sony's previous logic, as it noted in the past that it wasn't concerned about backward compatibility for consoles. Speaking with Time Magazine, SIE's Jim Ryan noted, "When we've dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those fewatures that is much requested, but not actually used much. That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?"
Microsoft, on the other hand, thinks differently, as its Xbox One backward compatibility program continues to thrive with over 400 different Xbox 360 titles available for play. And the company has noted that it's quite popular with users, especially with games that take advantage of the Xbox One X hardware, such as The Witcher 2 and Forza Horizon. No doubt this trend will continue.
We'll see what Sony has planned, as we may get a hint of what the PS5 is all about at its E3 press conference in just a few months.