A new patent made by Sony has popped up on the Japanese site for Industrial Property Information and Training (or INPIT) which details some potential features of the PS5, namely backwards compatibility. The patent suggests that the PS5 could potentially have the capability of running software from “legacy devices”. This would mean that software from previous generations like the PS3 and PS4 would actually be compatible with Sony’s next platform. It would also make sense on a hardware level as Sony has been working with AMD for the PS5, a company who is very good at implementing technologies like this.
What remains to be seen is how far back the potential backwards compatibility will support. Will it just cover PS3 and PS4 or will it go further back and possibly breathe life into much older titles?
A Reddit thread on r/PS4 also goes on to further explain and speculate on the details of the patent, stating that “the aim is to make the applications designed for previous consoles (legacy device) run perfectly on the most powerful hardware, and is focused on eliminating the synchronisation errors between the new consoles and the behaviour of previous ones.” The creator of the thread uses examples all the way back to PSX, but this still remains to be seen. It’s also entirely possible that this patent is for something later down the line (like the inevitable revised model).