Sony has filed a new patent which signifies the company could soon be making some improvements to backwards compatibility on the PS5. The patent was filed on September 14, 2021, and approved earlier this month. It looks like the new system would enable the next-gen console to mimic Sony’s previous consoles and be able to run older games.
The description of the patent reads, “An application designed for the current version of a system runs at a standard clock frequency of a current version of the system. Running the application at the standard clock frequency includes synchronizing operation of a processor of the current version of the system with the standard clock frequency. An application designed for a different version of the system characterized by a different standard clock frequency runs at a second clock frequency that is different than the standard clock frequency. Running the application at the second clock frequency includes synchronizing operation of the processor of the current version of the system with the second clock frequency.”
If this system comes to fruition, it could help solve a common problem new consoles have with processing clock speeds for older games. This can often make it impossible for games designed for slower hardware to run on new devices.
While the planned application looks promising, this is not the first time Sony and the PS5’s lead designer, Mark Cerny, have filed a patent concerning backwards compatibility. A patent with the same aim was filed in 2017 as well. However, this new patent differs as it is the first to feature alternative frequencies for applications. Some of the language specifically differentiates between newer, more powerful devices and slower revised devices.
While the first guess would be that this patent is to help backwards compatibility between the PS4 and PS5, there is a possibility it could be meant for something new. The reference to slower hardware might indicate Sony has plans to release a less-powerful PS5 in the future to compete with Microsoft’s incredibly popular Xbox Series S.
Whatever the patent’s purpose is, backwards compatibility is always a welcome feature by gamers.