Sony may finally have a solution to go head-to-head with Microsoft’s popular Xbox Game Pass, as PlayStation architect Mark Cerny sheds new light on PS5’s backwards compatibility plans.
A new patent named “Backward Compatibility Through Use Of Spoof Clock and Fine Grain Frequency Control” introduces the method of running an application at a different clock frequency “when the application is designed for a different version of the system.” A second clock frequency would synchronize operation of the processor of the current version of the system. In other words, PS3, PS2, and PS1 would be able to run seamlessly on PS4 and PS5.
Spotted by @shaunmcilroy (via PSU), the patent has been credited to Cerny and David Simpson. The solution is expected to be software-based, albeit a better one compared to PlayStation’s current method of playing previous titles: PS Now. In fact, you can check how PS5 backward compatibility failed Laptop Mag’s Mohammad Tabari and how it was easier to use a dusty PS3 to play Ratchet & Clank.
New @cerny patent sure@sounds like he’s nailed BC for older #PlayStation consoles pic.twitter.com/7n8zyzjcicJanuary 12, 2022
While PS Now does offer a selection of titles from past generations, from Infamous to The Last of Us, it hasn’t nearly taken off as well due to lag and streaming issues. Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass blows it out of the water.
While the patent looks promising, we won’t know how it will be used in conjunction with PS5. Plus, it’s still only in the starting stages. This isn’t the first we’ve heard of backwards compatibility patents for PS5, as a patent filed by Sony back in November 2020 suggests backwards compatibility may be added to the PS5 in the near future, and it also hints that players will be able to earn trophies for the older titles.
The PS Store does offer a handful of past titles, like Jak and Daxter and Twisted Metal, but there are still thousands more out there. However, if you do crave playing some adored retro titles, there is a way to turn an Xbox Series X|S into a retro emulator.