1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

New Sony patent could mean complete backwards compatibility on PlayStation 5

By onetheycallEric · 36 replies
Feb 3, 2019
Post New Reply
  1. A new patent filed by Sony could suggest that the PlayStation 5 will offer backwards compatibility with all previous PlayStation consoles -- a feature that would no doubt delight PlayStation fans.

    Supposedly, the patent is designed by PlayStation 4 lead architect Mark Cerny and would theoretically allow the PlayStation 5 to run software from legacy devices -- that is, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and the venerable PSone. This feat would be facilitated by tricking the legacy software into believing its running on the original device, a process the patent details as "processor ID spoofing." It would mimic the behavior of older hardware, to allow the legacy software to cooperate with newer hardware. The PlayStation 3 architecture is known to be particularly tricky to work with, which is likely why Sony has stalled with backwards compatibility.

    While the patent makes no specific reference to hardware, a current reddit thread is citing sources that speculate that the patent application is destined for the PlayStation 5. It's also worth mentioning that just because a company files a trademark, it doesn't mean that it'll come to transpire.

    We had previously reported that the PlayStation 5 could be announced at E3 2020 and the console is rumored to be using an 8-core Ryzen CPU and a custom GPU based on AMD's Navi architecture. The PlayStation 5 is also expected to cost as much as $500, while Sony has allegedly shifted first-party development to its next generation platform already.

    Permalink to story.

  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877

    If they bring this to the table. I might consider stepping off my PC high horse. Through the years, I have been able to play PC games from any time period. I've always fought with the idea of spending on multiple systems. Especially with generational differences dictating which games could be played.
  3. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,466   +1,249

    Honestly this makes me slightly wet. I currently have a PS2, PS3 and PS4 plugged into my TV (I like going back to Timesplitters on PS2, Red Dead on PS3 and Crash Team Racing on PS1(using the PS2)).

    If they are actually planning to do this, I'd quite happily pay the premium!
    OldmanGamer likes this.
  4. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,294   +1,747

    Depends on the games you like. Some (if not most) games just play better on PC, especially FPS and RTS games.
  5. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 690   +945

    It should be relatively easy at this point. Good software emulators already exist for PS1 and PS2 hardware, the main problem was emulating PS3 in software. There has been progress in that area in the emulation community. With focused effort from a professional software team it is distinctly possible today, especially if Sony throw in an 8 core Zen to run it on.

    Even if Sony decided to include PS3 hardware (specifically, the CELL processor) in PS5 it wouldn't be much of a problem, since now we are down to 7nm the space it would occupy would be relatively small. 200 million transistors would be nothing on an SoC that AMD are building for PS5 that is likely to exceed 10 billion transistors!

    As for PS4 it'll be the easiest of the lot. Since these consoles appeared in 2013 they were little more than glorified low end x86 computers with mainstream graphics cores. Next gen will be an identical concept, only with more of everything.

    The thing that Microsoft have done and Sony needs to just copy right off is the work put into running older games at higher resolution or better frame rates. This is the main aspect that impressed me about Xbox One X. I love emulating games on PC and running them at resolutions and filter settings far beyond the abilities of the original console. It brings new life to me for legacy titles.
    Joshman501 and Burty117 like this.
  6. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 596   +76

    People come out with this stupid naive talk all the time. A new console comes out and then ppl say yeah but the gpu is comparable to my 10 year old radeon which is so much more powerful which is also utter tosh. They then claim they can build a more powerful PC for less. In every claim the PC they build struggles to play games in 1080p and in anything between low and medium graphics all these to maintain a playable framerate.
    A console hardware and software is leagues ahead of the PC in terms of core refinement and efficiency something the PC never match due to the 1000s of different pc configurations.

    Sure im not saying consoles are superior, bang for buck they are and if side by side hardware the console wins, but if I spend $2k more on my PC I sure has hell expect it to look and play better than a $300 console.

    p.s when rdr2 comes out on the PC you show me some proof that a low end x86 pc can pull off the graphics fidelity, resolution and frame rate of the aging ps4. Rememer this has to be done on a $250-300 spec...

    p.p.s I know ps4 isn't super powerful, but I do know it owns pcs of comparable spec.
    m4a4 likes this.
  7. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 690   +945

    Your reply bears practically no relevance to my post which was talking about PS5 hardware 'emulating' PS4 hardware. I only pointed out that the present generation of consoles is virtually off the shelf low/mid end PC space hardware. As the next console generation will also be, so compatibility between the generations should be easy. In the past console hardware was usually highly custom making backwards compatibility much more difficult.

    It's a true mystery why you have quoted that part of my post and then gone on to yap about relative PC and console performance in games. It was not discussed.

    However if you do want a PC/console performance comparison, perhaps you should go back a few years where Digital Foundry pitted a 4th gen Intel dual core CPU with a 750ti OC against base PS4 hardware. There was a whole series of videos.

    The PS4 lost more often than not.

    I find a lot of people overestimate the advantage consoles have of optimising fixed hardware these days. It's invariably much smaller than it used to be in those days of custom consoles.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
    psycros and Burty117 like this.
  8. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,392   +963

    I honestly don't see them doing much with this. They already have a paid streaming service that will get you previous Sony games. Maybe PS4 games will be backwards compatible for a "we're totally doing something".

    But looking at how stupid Sony has been with cross-platform support (disallowing it mainly because money), why would they then allow something that will tangibly cut into one of their services? I just don't see it right now. Even if they're jealous at how liked Xbox One's BC is.
    psycros likes this.
  9. Adi6293

    Adi6293 TS Addict Posts: 143   +86

    I love when those alway "forget" to add Windows license to those console killers, blue rays etc ;-)
  10. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 699   +258

    If it's backwards compatible with PS4 games that would be plenty of enough 4 me.
  11. cldmstrsn

    cldmstrsn TS Addict Posts: 169   +123

    If they can do 4K 60 frames and have BC with all previous generations and I can put my old discs in there then 499 is a god damn steal. I would even pay 599.
    Burty117 likes this.
  12. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 546   +364

    What's even more interesting is how wrong you are about this topic.
  13. Cipriano

    Cipriano TS Rookie

    Sony said this before about other consoles. As much as I would love for this to happen just like everyone else I have my doubt. This was said about the ps4 at one point and they only brought out PlayStation live. Don't think they will go back and recreate discs so this will have to be a online purchase. If discs are allowed then the value of discs will only go up in price after that since people will start to look for games on eBay or Amazon.
  14. jmsalal

    jmsalal TS Rookie

    I'd pay $600 if Sony made the PS5 completely backward compatible
    AJ Stone, OldmanGamer and Burty117 like this.
  15. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877

    I get that. That is a notion people have to overlook when considering a console.
  16. Joshman501

    Joshman501 TS Rookie

    I hope this is true! This would be amazing if it comes true. I would buy one for sure if it's fully backwards compatible with all old ps discs. I have lots of PlayStation games from all systems, and this would be a dream come true. But I wonder.. Will PS3 games still have online mode if you play them on a ps5? Like modern warfare 2, and Black ops, ect... I doubt it, but that would be cool to see.
  17. brucek

    brucek TS Maniac Posts: 132   +166

    That'd be a nice feature for the PS5 or any future console.

    As far as the patent part goes, I'm not seeing anything in the descriptions quoted here that doesn't sound like prior art? Of course I'm no expert.
  18. amghwk

    amghwk TS Guru Posts: 489   +302

    As usual, I'll be waiting for the second-iteration "slim/compact" model.
  19. amghwk

    amghwk TS Guru Posts: 489   +302



    I own a PC and it trashes PS4 in your so called 1080p setting in ULTRA/MAX settings at butter smooth minimum 60fps.

    FYI, I also own a PS4 Pro. I like them both, each have their advantages. And I wouldn't go too far making embarassing statements.
  20. Sppok1155

    Sppok1155 TS Rookie

    ALL future consols should include backward compatability of their legacy consoles. It sucks to own the orignal titles and after a few years and cant play them anymore because of discontinuing rhe older systems then have to pay for them again digitally, IF they're available. You shouldnt have to pay for a game twice.
  21. George Keech

    George Keech TS Rookie

    Please add a 4 or 8 tb hard drive Sony ssd or m.2 preferably
  22. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 403   +211

    It is going to be so easy for Sony to win yet another gen if they just do these 3 things:

    1) Have backwords compatibility from launch with PS2-PS4, and also make it so all PS4 games get upgraded graphics on a PS5 (Ideally 4K@60Hz uprez). Imagine being told "Hey don't hold back on buying those PS4 games now, in a year all of them will still be playable but with better graphics. Even more incredible would be if they gave you access to all of those PS3 PSN games.

    2) An excellent launch line-up. A lot of Sony Devs are quiet lately: How does a launch with Killzone 4, Death Stranding, Gran Turismo 7, Spiderman 2, and a few more second/third parties sound?

    3) A $400-$500 price point.

    If they did these things I just flatout don't see how MS can compete. I am sure XBOX will have some cheap streaming option, but I am skeptical if anyone really cares that much about price. I guess MS could make a big splash if they did something crazy like offer the streaming box version for free (but required you sign up for a contract to pay for XBL for 4 years).
  23. Fuzzy Dunalap

    Fuzzy Dunalap TS Rookie

    Well, the graphics your seeing on consoles pretty much a 7850. that was around the AMD R9, R7, Nvidia 9xx time frame. for the price of a console you could have a 970 or something around a R9 290 area. Both cards which would have no problem running games in higher fidelity today, even new blockbusters.

    Uh no. You mean optimization, refinement. Coding. A console is a single system wheres releasing it for PC means having a wider array of configurations for bugs and nonsense to show up. If a game is released for both consoles and PC, the pc version will have better performance but it has to be ported correctly.

    Bang for buck, they are different things. It all comes down to what you want and what you can afford.

    Remember when the ps4 came out it was 399, so your asking if a R9 290x or a Nvidia 970 can do what a ps4 can? Even now, at $250-300 you can get a something along the lines of a RX 580 or 1060 or bottom 1070.

    there is a guy on youtube that did what your talking about, its called the potato masher. check it out.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  24. Uoman

    Uoman TS Rookie

    I have to agree with their position on cross platform. Before I go on, this really only holds true for data not saved purely server-side bc that does play a big part for preventing tampering. With the security issues Sony has had and the ones this presents, it's certainly of questionable value to them as a company. Item duping, skill point duping, transfering around hacked gear are just a few small issues. And issues which are already easily abused just transfering save data from last gen to current gen consoles.

    I prefer to avoid PUGs in all forms. I have no desire to play with some randoms who have modified their save files and/or trophies to break damage bonuses and the like. Even a PVE game is competitive in the sense that someone capable of one-shotting everything is able to clear far larger areas, leaving less for those not tampering with files. I've barely touched the surface of the issues that are common and hard to detect just from transfering character data. I haven't even touched the issues from actual multiplatform gaming yet, just one tiny aspect of it.

    Cross-platforming isn't new, especially not to Sony. Pretty easy to forget they were doing that with pc back in the ps2 era, considering online gaming on consoles was super rare at that point. It didn't last, largely because pc this was when pc component improvements really began to out-pace consoles. It wasn't long before they seperated the servers bc pc gained a clear advantage and you saw people boxing multiple instances of the game on one pc.

    This is far less likely today, but rumors state that console developers intend to continue with the 'premium' and "'regular' units. As it is, pc typically holds a clear advantage over consoles in regards to precision and speed of action. Playing against and with people at a clear disadvantage is not fun. That's a great way to burn yourself out on a game, having done so myself repeatedly.

    I really struggle to see the benefit, even as a gamer. I have a gaming pc and ps4 pro. I can get the xbox exclusives on my pc, any games that play better on pc on the pc, and everything else on my ps4. I'll do the same next gen. If anything, I'll end up avoiding cross-platform games bc I game to avoid the drama.
  25. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,392   +963

    ...You realize that they already allow crossplay with PC, right? This is about crossplay with Xbox and Switch (aka, other consoles that are "less hackable")...

    Ps. it would then be up to the devs to make things safe and fair.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...