A new patent filed by Sony hints that the next iteration of PlayStation consoles could feature built-in backwards compatibility.
Spanish site Hobby Consolas first spotted the patent on J-PlatPat and translated it from Japanese. According to that site, the patent would allow for “retrocompatibility” of past hardware with future consoles, letting the next iterations of PlayStation machines run older games.
Of course, with patents, it’s hard to tell exactly what such a system will be used for, or if anything in the patent will ever see the light of day. A generous interpretation of the patent could mean that Sony hopes for the PlayStation 5 to be able to play games from all past Sony home consoles, as Hobby Consolas seems to think is the case. However, the PlayStation 3’s unique architecture makes it notoriously difficult to emulate, so this may be simply an indicator that the next PlayStation machine will continue to support PlayStation 4 games.
It’s also possible that this patent is only speculation, and that Sony has an idea of how to make backwards compatibility work, but no plans yet to implement it. However, it does line up with the latest speculation from Digital Foundry analyst John Linneman, who recently stated that there is “zero question” that the PlayStation 5 won’t support at least PlayStation 4 games.
Sony president Kenchiro Yoshido recently reported that Sony is working on its next console, though we likely won’t see it for another year at least.
Source: Hobby Consolas