Is full backwards compatibility coming to PS5? This new patent suggests so

(Image credit: Future)

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.

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.

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.