Sony Patent Hints at PS5 Backwards Compatibility for Older PlayStation Games

A new patent from Sony has been spotted online that may give hope to PlayStation fans when it comes to the PlayStation 5’s backwards compatibility feature. We currently know that the next-gen console will be compatible with many PlayStation 4 games when it launches, though not all of them right away, but it hasn’t been confirmed whether we’ll be able to play older PlayStation games on the PlayStation 5 via backwards compatibility. Sony’s patent relevant to this matter suggests those older games could be ran on the PlayStation 5 by using a virtual machine that takes the place of the older operating systems.

Twitter user Renka_schedule spotted the patent (via IGN), and a translation of the user’s tweet indicates that the patented system would be able to store game titles across the older generations of PlayStations within the console’s cloud gaming library. The user then said the patent indicated that the games could be ran on a virtual machine which would mimic the operating system of the console they originally came from.

Some images provided within the tweet that come from the patent referenced past console generations. The user continued their thread from there with more patent information about other potential PlayStation developments pertaining to the PlayStation Store and other features.

Whether the PlayStation 5 would be compatible with older PlayStation games before the PlayStation 4 has been a big question leading up to the console’s release, but it hasn’t always looked great for the prospect of the system being fully backwards compatible with past PlayStations. This patent gives some hope to the backwards compatibility wishes, but like any patent or rumor, it’s not a guarantee that we’ll see the next-gen console be compatible with older games.


The Xbox Series X, by comparison, will support backwards compatibility with thousands of past Xbox games at launch and will support games from the Xbox One, the Xbox 360, and the original Xbox. While you won’t be playing all of your old Xbox games right away on the console since it won’t support everything right away, those looking into buying the Xbox Series X at least know that their console will support their library of games eventually.

Both the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 are scheduled to launch during Holiday 2020.