New Sony Patent Hints Backwards Compatibility for PS5

Sony Interactive Entertainment, the company that handles the research and development of the PlayStation consoles, has themselves a winner in the PlayStation 5. But, while Sony's latest flagship console continues to rack up sales and break records, it's not the only console on the market and there are things that its competition does better.

A new patent filed by Sony suggests that PS5 owners could get a chance to play older PS1 titles soon.

Case in point, Microsoft's Xbox Series X has what's referred to as backwards compatibility.

Unlike the PlayStation 5 and Sony, Microsoft seems intent on giving newer players and older ones alike a chance to play through some of the games released in previous decades. The best part is that the Xbox Series X supports several visual and performance improvements. As a result, older games look and play better on the Xbox Series X.

Even though not all legacy Xbox titles work on the Xbox Series X via backwards compatibility, the list of games continues to grow by the day. Plus, a handful of games is still far better than what the PlayStation 5 has to offer, which is zero outside of PlayStation 4 titles.

With that said, everything could change much sooner than most of us would expect after Sony recently filed a patent.

Is Backwards Compatibility Coming to the PlayStation 5?

If the rumors are true, then the Xbox Series X will have lost its only significant edge over the PlayStation 5.

Unbeknownst to many at the time, Sony filed a patent at the tail end of 2020 that was only published online recently.

The patent in question details a process allowing a system to award trophies to players that play "emulated" games. Technically, the patent does not go into detail about which games will be emulated. However, many are already speculating that it is referring to Sony's method of making the PlayStation 5 backward compatible with legacy titles.

Of course, this could be making much ado about nothing. After all, this isn't the first time Sony has filed a similar patent. Still, this hasn't stopped many from speculating that Sony is indeed working on making older PlayStation games playable on the PlayStation 5.

If it's any consolation though, Sony has made numerous older and newer titles available for free as part of their Stay at Home initiative. This includes Horizon Zero Dawn and Ratchet and Clank. Meanwhile, their PlayStation Plus offerings are better than ever. They recently gave away Final Fantasy VII Remake in March. In addition to this, Sony will be making Oddworld: Soulstorm available to PlayStation Plus subscribers in April.

Microsoft Continues to Make Business-Savy Moves for the Xbox Brand

Sony seems content on where things are going with the PlayStation 5, and why wouldn't they be?

Backwards compatibility is arguably the only area where the PlayStation 5 is losing out on compared to the Xbox Series X. Also, even though the console is technically slower, real-world gaming performance suggests this isn't necessarily the case. Apparently, developers can optimize their games better for Sony's flagship console.

With that said, Microsoft has been making waves lately with its business moves. Among the biggest is their acquisition of ZeniMax Media. This led to the addition of numerous Bethesda games to the Xbox Game Pass. The tech giant is also rumored to be working on acquiring Discord and adding Ubisoft Plus to Xbox Game Pass.

Ultimately, regardless of what Microsoft and Sony do for the Xbox Series and PlayStation 5, respectively, we are the real winners here. Competition is always good and the more these two companies try to one-up each other, the better off we the players become.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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