New Patent Hints How The PS5 Will Handle Backwards Compatibility

When Sony Interactive Entertainment officially announced the PlayStation 5 earlier this year, it confirmed the next-gen PlayStation console will support backwards compatibility with the PlayStation 4. Now, at the time, Sony didn't reveal whether the PS5 will be backwards with older Sony systems, and it still hasn't provided a clarification. That said, a new patent has surfaced that goes into detail on how Sony is implementing the feature, and what it means for games running on PS5, courtesy of it.

The patent in question was actually filed back in 2017, but only surfaced recently. More or less, the patent reveals that Sony has figured out a way to avoid the usual backwards compatible issues that arise due to differences in hardware.

“Differences in performance of the hardware components of a new device and a legacy device can cause errors in synchronization on the new device, which may cause a legacy application to crash or produce incorrect output when running on a new device architecture,” reads the patent explains. "Such differences in performance can arise, e.g., from differences in hardware architecture between the new and legacy devices.”

Getting old games to run on a new system can be quite challenging, but apparently with this patent behind the PS5, Sony won't make developers have to alter their game's basic code. Further, there will be no sacrifices in performance in relation to how the games run on their native hardware. In other words, it seems like Sony has made the process very seamless and simple for developers.

“The performance of an application on a new device may be closely matched to the performance of that same application on the legacy device by tuning the operating parameters of the new device,” notes the patent. “Examples of operating parameters include, among other things, the clock frequencies of the new device, the number of available general purpose registers (GPRs), instruction launch rates, and the like. The application may be run repeatedly on the new system while tuning its operating parameters to adjust the application-specific performance characteristics."

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As you will know, Sony has a few patents pertaining to backwards compatibility it has been filing trademarks for recently, suggesting it's really leaning into the feature and ensuring it's properly supported and implemented for the PS5.

Anyway, for more news, media, and information on the PlayStation 5, click here. Meanwhile, don't forget to leave a comment with your thoughts or, alternatively, hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ and let me know over there.