A recently discovered patent from Sony provides a strong hint that the recently confirmed PlayStation 5 console will feature a backwards compatibility function.
The newly discovered patent suggests that Sony are planning a new way to bring their back catalogue to the PS4 by “remastering with emulation”- a feature which has long been requested for the current PlayStation console.
Microsoft has prided itself on delivering a ton of backwards compatible titles this generation, adding new (old) Xbox and Xbox 360 titles every month via their much-loved backwards compatibility program.
One would imagine then, that Xbox finding success in their older games this generation hasn’t gone unnoticed by Sony. The patent – originally filed in November 2016 and recently discovered by Gearnuke – would certainly suggest this is the case.
According to the patent:
Each asset such as a texture called for by legacy software such as a legacy computer game software has a unique identifier associated with it. The unique identifier can be rendered by imposing a hash on the asset, and then the asset stored with its identifier in a data structure. An artist remasters the textures for presentation on a higher resolution display than envisioned in the original software, and stores them back in the data structure with their identifiers.
In short, it looks very much like Sony is working on a way to make older games play in high-res with no lag. There’s no confirmation that this is for the PlayStation 5, but given the PS4 is definitely nearing the end of its lifecycle, it seems like backwards compatibility would be a strong selling point for any future console.
Some have argued that since the patent was filed in 2016, it’s unlikely it’s for the PlayStation 5, as work on the console wouldn’t have started at that point.
Personally, I’d argue that a company like Sony would have been thinking about their next steps as soon as the PS4 launched, so it’s not a stretch to imagine the patent is indeed for the PS5.
For now, we’ll just have to wait for an official word from Sony on the PlayStation 5, and hope that they have enough sense to make Hogs of War playable on a console as soon as possible.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.