Sony Patent Hints at PS5 Backwards Compatibility

AlphaAtlas

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A new patent filed by Sony in Japan suggests that the Playstation 5 (or whatever Sony's next console is called) could implement backwards compatibility for PS4 titles. While the patent doesn't specifically mention the Playstation 5 itself, a Japenese blog pointed out that it makes multiple references to the x86 architecture, and previous rumors suggest that the PS5 will use an AMD x86 CPU + GPU combo like the PS4 and PS4 Pro. In addition to spoofing processor details to mimic the old PS4 SoC, the patent mentions that even processing speed can break time-sensitive operations "legacy" applications could implement, meaning a new processor would need specific measures to ensure perfect backwards compatibility. If all this seems familiar, that's because Sony issued a seemingly unrelated patent dealing with emulation and "remastering" late last year. The techniques described in the 2019 patent likely wouldn't work for PS3 and PS2 games, as those consoles don't share the PS4's architecture. Thanks to TechSpot for spotting the patent.

Differences in the performance of hardware components between the new device and the legacy device may cause synchronization errors in the new device. Such performance differences may arise, for example, due to differences in the capabilities of the central processing unit (CPU) of the new device to the legacy device. For example, if the CPU of the new device is faster than the CPU of the legacy device, the CPU may prematurely overwrite the data that is still being used by another component of the new device.
 

vegeta535

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There is too much money to be made off remasters and their streaming service. They are in the #1 spot by miles from the competition. Hope they don't get complacent again like they did with the PS3 and got knocked off the throne.
 
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I would be willing to wager that the odds of the PS5 being fully backwards compatible with all previous playstation generations is slim to none.

I honestly wonder what the cost would be these days to throw in some daughterboards with a shrunk down version of the old hardware. Sure would be a neat machine.
 

Lakados

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Honestly at this point they don't need to be doing full redesigns of the basic architecture of the systems, if they are sticking with the x86 and they are sticking with AMD for the GPU then what they need is the newer architectures with faster clocks, the same commands will be present and a basic OS update for the newer features is sufficient. Console gaming is basically PC gaming on the cheap at this point.
 

tunatime

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Honestly at this point they don't need to be doing full redesigns of the basic architecture of the systems, if they are sticking with the x86 and they are sticking with AMD for the GPU then what they need is the newer architectures with faster clocks, the same commands will be present and a basic OS update for the newer features is sufficient. Console gaming is basically PC gaming on the cheap at this point.
This, I see going forward that the Xbox and PS4 will be basically a computer so it shouldn't be to hard make them work. Hell you could probably go one step further and have a new games work on the older system on very low settings.
 

brentsg

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I honestly wonder what the cost would be these days to throw in some daughterboards with a shrunk down version of the old hardware. Sure would be a neat machine.

I'd pay a big premium for this but I'm sure a lot of people simply don't care. But imagine a PS5 with Sony behaving like Microsoft as late, adding enhanced backward compatibility for certain titles and base support for all older titles (not saying MS has done this, but they've done a hell of a lot of titles).
 

Spidey329

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Play them? Sure. PS4 discs, yes. But PS1/PS2/PS3 I'd bet it's only if they're purchased digitally via the PlayStation store and emulated.

I'm surprised Nintendo hasn't done this with their library of NES/SNES/N64 games given how the classic console's have sold so well.
 
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I'd pay a big premium for this but I'm sure a lot of people simply don't care. But imagine a PS5 with Sony behaving like Microsoft as late, adding enhanced backward compatibility for certain titles and base support for all older titles (not saying MS has done this, but they've done a hell of a lot of titles).

Yeah, I'd pay for it too. Even though I have all the old consoles, all in one box would be awesome. I'm really impressed with MS. It's incredible how well X360 titles (such as Halo Reach) run on the Xbone.
 

liffie420

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I'd pay a big premium for this but I'm sure a lot of people simply don't care. But imagine a PS5 with Sony behaving like Microsoft as late, adding enhanced backward compatibility for certain titles and base support for all older titles (not saying MS has done this, but they've done a hell of a lot of titles).
Well the main issue with BC for PS3 specifically but it was an issue with the PS2 for a while as well is the hardware. The emotion engine on the PS2 and the Cell processor in the PS3 were difficult to emulate, specifically the Cell Processor. PS1 and PS2 should be easy to do at this point via emulation, PS3 is possible, but even the best current emulator for PS3 games isn't perfect.
 

Lakados

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This, I see going forward that the Xbox and PS4 will be basically a computer so it shouldn't be to hard make them work. Hell you could probably go one step further and have a new games work on the older system on very low settings.
Microsoft does that for titles for the Xbox One / S / X. So yeah that is already a thing there.
 

next-Jin

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It’ll be backwards compatible with the PS4. Anything other than that would be going that extra mile and I doubt that happens.
 

ZodaEX

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It’ll be backwards compatible with the PS4. Anything other than that would be going that extra mile and I doubt that happens.

If Sony can rig a weak Arm CPU to run PS1 games, I bet they could rig a powerful X86 CPU to do the same.
 

Iratus

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It might be foregone revenue to make games backwards compatible, but that does assume its free.

Could easily wrap a commercial model around it. $5 a game, or a feature that requires PlayStation Plus or supports ‘current’ releases but adds high res features (so the ‘latest’ ps4 games would get a work and get a boost for ps5) etc etc

A low dev effort solution that helps them gain early lifecycle revenue when there’s not many new games out would be a boon. It often takes a couple of years before the consoles become useful because the games library is so shit and it is dramatically easier now they’re both a lot closer to general purpose x86 Architecture. Ironically MSs bungled attempt to have the XBox One to be medialess might have helped lead into this gen with a more PC/Steam smooth transition but they spooned that one with greed.

Will be interesting to see what they come up with, but academic, I’m pretty sure I’m done with consoles after 30 years.
 

vegeta535

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Well the main issue with BC for PS3 specifically but it was an issue with the PS2 for a while as well is the hardware. The emotion engine on the PS2 and the Cell processor in the PS3 were difficult to emulate, specifically the Cell Processor. PS1 and PS2 should be easy to do at this point via emulation, PS3 is possible, but even the best current emulator for PS3 games isn't perfect.
Sony could easily shit out a emulator for PS3. There is world of difference from someone making one during their spare time vs the company that designed the hardware and software funding it. They have access to the engineers that worked on it or at least their documents if they don't work there anymore.
 

fullvietFX

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Am I the only one who doesn't play older console games? Anything from the PS2/PS3-era looks atrocious.
 

liffie420

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Sony could easily shit out a emulator for PS3. There is world of difference from someone making one during their spare time vs the company that designed the hardware and software funding it. They have access to the engineers that worked on it or at least their documents if they don't work there anymore.

As I mentioned the hard part is emulating the cell functionality. The current top PS3 emulator isn't just someone making it in their spare time, yes it is free, but there is a huge team of people working on it.
 
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