A new PlayStation patent suggests the PS5, and possibly the PS4, are finally getting PS3, PS2, and PS1 backward compatibility. Unlike the Xbox Series X -- which plays many Xbox 360 and original Xbox games -- the PS5 only plays PS4 games, and of course PS5 games as well. It isn't backward compatible with PS3, PS2, or PS1 games. The unique architecture of the PS3 gives Sony an excuse when it comes to the third-generation PlayStation console, but it's unclear why the PS2 and PS1 are excluded. That said, it sounds like much of this, if not all of this, may finally remedy itself.
A new patent from Sony Interactive Entertainment has surfaced online. And who's behind the patent? Mark Cerny, the mastermind behind PlayStation hardware. And what is the patent for? Well, it's titled "Backward Compatibility Through Use of Spoof Clock and Fine Grain Frequency." In short, PlayStation is working on backward compatibility tech, presumably to unlock legacy PlayStation consoles on the PS5, and maybe the PS4.
There's nothing about the patent that suggests it has anything to do with enabling backward compatibility support for PS3 games or PS2 games or PS1 games, but that's of course where everyone's mind immediately goes to.
The unfortunate reality is Sony constantly files for patents, many of which never graduate beyond the conceptual stage. Over the years, a wide range of tantalizing PlayStation patents have surfaced online, and nothing has ever come of them. This is true not only of Sony patents, but patents in general.
At the moment of publishing, Sony has not addressed any of this in any capacity and we don't expect this to change. It never comments on patents nor the speculation they create. However, if it bucks expectations and breaks its consistent silence, we will be sure to update the story accordingly.
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