A new patent has recently surfaced which seems to suggest that Sony is looking to make the PlayStation 5 backward compatible with PlayStation 4 games, but is that really what’s happening?
The patent—originally filed in November 2015 and approved on February 13th, 2018—is for “[b]ackward compatibility testing of software in a mode that disrupts timing.” In other words, the patent is for a testing method that would stress-test older applications running on newer hardware by purposefully messing with the processing speeds of the newer device and seeing how the older applications handle these changes.
Of course, this could suggest that Sony is looking for an easy way to test a swath of older software on newer hardware, instead of play-testing individual backward compatibility games as Microsoft does for Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One. However, what isn’t clear is if this is a reference to Sony’s plans for the PlayStation 5 specifically.
The inventors listed on the patent are Mark Cerny—the chief architect for the PlayStation 4, PS4 Pro, and the PS Vita—and David Simpson, who is currently listed as a project manager at Naughty Dog on his LinkedIn page. Simpson’s previous experience includes being “[o]ne of the hardware architects for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro SoC.”
Sony hasn’t announced anything about the PlayStation 5 or who its lead engineers will be, but it’s reasonable to assume that Cerny, as chief architect on the PlayStation 4 Pro, would at least be in communication with the folks at Sony who are currently planning the PlayStation 5. That being said, considering the patent was originally filed in November 2015, it could easily be referring to running PlayStation 4 titles on the Pro.
Professional guesser Michael Prachter previously predicted that the PlayStation 5 would include backward compatibility, and this patent definitely hints that Sony is looking into making it work on a grander scale. We just don’t know if these tests have already been implemented for the PS4 Pro or if they’re currently being utilized to run PS4 games on prototype PS5 consoles. However, it’s safe to say that if Sony is spending time and money to explore ways to remove barriers for backward compatibility, it won’t want to let that time and money go to waste.
Source: PlayStation Universe