Technically, the PS5 already has backwards compatibility. PS5 owners have been able to play most PS4 games on their console ever since the PS5 was launched. Not to mention, the PS Now service gives PS5 (and PS4 owners) the chance to play PS2 and PS3 games. But, full legacy backwards compatibility remains out of the question. However, if the new patent is anything to go by, PS5 owners might get access to thousands of games from previous PlayStation generations soon enough.
Is Sony going to make the PS5 backwards compatible?
Before Sony released the PS5, the rumor mill was filled with intel that it would have full backward compatibility and support games from the PS1 all the way through to the PS4. Of course, we now know that this never happened, and it's one of the drawbacks of buying a PS5 over the Xbox Series S/X. Unlike Sony, Microsoft managed to make a huge chunk of Xbox 360 games as well as original Xbox games playable on its latest console.
But, according to a USPTO report, this is about to end soon. Sony's Mark Cerny, the lead designer for the PS5, filed a patent that appears to reveal that Sony has found a way to make the PS5 support older titles. This would also line up with the recent rumors about Spartacus, an upcoming three-tier service that's believed to be Sony's answer to the Xbox Game Pass.
The patent doesn't explain how the PS5 will achieve backwards compatibility. But, it is interesting that Sony bothered to file a separate patent. this would suggest that Sony has found a way to make this happen natively.
According to the earlier rumors of Spartacus, Sony reportedly plans to launch the service in Spring 2022. Given that Sony has already started pulling PS Now cards from stores with an unannounced State of Play event scheduled in late March, the recent filing is starting to make a lot of sense. Of course, just because Sony filed something, this doesn't mean that it will happen. What we're trying to say is that you shouldn't believe everything that you just read.
Interestingly, the filing comes months after Microsoft confirmed the last batch of backwards compatible Xbox games.
Hopefully, Sony can clear up all the uncertainty with an announcement. Just don't expect it to come soon. Sony just announced PSVR 2 at CES 2022. We don't think that Sony is ready to take away the spotlight from such an important piece of hardware just yet.