PS5 Backwards Compatibility Explained in New Sony Patent, Simple Process for Developers

A new patent by Sony Interactive Entertainment has surfaced online giving us an idea of how PS5 backwards compatibility will work. We advise everyone to take the provided information with a grain of salt as companies like Sony file patents all the time without any guarantee of its implementation in the final product.

In case you don’t know already, Sony has already confirmed that its next-generation console will support backward compatible feature. However, Sony didn’t go into detail about how exactly it’s going to work. With that said, a new Sony patent titled “Real-time adjustment of application-specific operating parameters for backwards compatibility” gives us an idea of how Sony is implementing the backward compatibility feature.

The PS5 Backwards Compatibility patent was filed back in 2017 but has surfaced online recently. In short, the patent reveals how Sony has figured out ways to avoid issues that arise due to the difference in hardware. New patent reveals how Sony plans to tackle these issues.

Differences in performance of the hardware components of a new device and a legacy device can cause errors in synchronization on the new device, which may cause a legacy application to crash or produce incorrect output when running on a new device architecture, the patent reads. Such differences in performance can arise, e.g., from differences in hardware architecture between the new and legacy devices.

As expected, making old games run on new systems is a difficult process but the above patent suggests that Sony will allow developers to bring their games on new PlayStation without having to alter their game’s basic code. This will be done without any compromise of quality in the performance of the game. In other words, Sony has made the process very easy simple for developers.

The performance of an application on a new device may be closely matched to the performance of that same application on the legacy device by tuning the operating parameters of the new device.

Examples of operating parameters include, among other things, the clock frequencies of the new device, the number of available general purpose registers (GPRs), instruction launch rates, and the like. The application may be run repeatedly on the new system while tuning its operating parameters to adjust the application-specific performance characteristics.

It’s safe to say that Sony is doing their best when it comes to the PlayStation 5 backwards compatibility feature. Keep in mind that this is not the first backward compatibility patent that has been discovered by Sony. Previously, we have seen various backward compatibility patents which involve automatic upscaling, ID spoofing and more.

Apparently, developers are already making use of next-generation consoles and their features. Recently, Rainbow Six Siege brand director said that the game will be available on next-generation consoles and revealed that they are already discussing it with Sony and Microsoft.

We will likely learn more about PS5’s backwards compatibility feature at PlayStation Experience (PSX) 2019.