The backward compatibility of a console is one of its critical functionalities, especially in the first years after the platform is introduced, when it doesn’t yet have an impressive library of exclusive games. As we know, PlayStation 4 does not offer native support for titles from previous generations of Sony consoles, so their fans had to settle for remasters and a limited number of special versions of PlayStation 2 hits. Considering the success of the early compatibility program on Xbox One (supporting the original Xbox and Xbox 360), many expect PlayStation 5 to learn from Microsoft's initiative. And it look like it will happen. The solution patented by the Japanese company makes it easier for the new system to emulate not only productions from PlayStation 4, but potentially also those from PlayStations 3, 2 and the even 1.
The head of the patent team was Mark Cerny, who was responsible for preparing the architecture of PlayStation 4. He describes the technology that allows for a perfect emulation of previous Sony systems. It was based on the utilization of the console’s processing power and a technique that eliminates synchronization problems, which result from the difference in performance in the components use in older consoles and the new system. This would allow PlayStation 5 to perfectly imitate the performance of older platforms (with the support of appropriate software), thus perfectly "cheating" applications and games that were developed with them in mind. It should be noted that Sony also patented a method of "remastering games through emulation", which consists in increasing the image resolution (from 480p to 4K), using a dedicated artificial intelligence. Software emulation can also be theoretically supported by special chipsets on the mainboard of the upcoming console, just like in the case of PlayStation 4, which has a dedicated chipset for video recording. If PlayStation 5 will offer emulation of all previous PlayStation platforms and support for their games, not only in digital version, but also on physical disks, Sony will automatically attract the attention of many millions of players.
- PlayStation official homepage