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. 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.
As PlayStation architect Mark Cerny reveals fresh details about the PS5’s backwards compatibility plans, Sony may finally have a method to compete with Microsoft’s popular Xbox Game Pass. The method of executing a programme at a different clock frequency “where the application is developed for a different version of the system” is described in a new patent titled “Backward Compatibility Through Use Of Spoof Clock and Fine Grain Frequency Control.” The CPU in the current iteration of the system would be synchronised with a second clock frequency. To put it another way, PS3, PS2, and PS1 games would be able to run on PS4 and PS5.
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.
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.