The PlayStation 5 could well have a serious leg-up over the Xbox 2 if a new patent filed by Sony is to be believed.
Sony appears to have finally cracked the problem of backwards compatibility with tech that could let players carry on playing their old games on their new console.
A patent has been filed in Japan by — among others — the lead architect of the PlayStation 4’s chips which would let the part of the processor of a future console effectively pretend to be the processor for any previous console, so it could then run games written for them without the need to the games themselves to be updated.
The processor would effectively lie to the game in question, telling it it was running on the older chips while actually doing the processing itself.
Sony tried to implement something like this with the PS4 specifically for PSX and PS2 games but it never hit prime time.
It ties into a patent that was filed by Sony in 2016 that outlined some pretty nifty technology for automatically increasing the quality of older games when played on a newer networked system.
That patent showed off the ability to replace textures and audio files on the fly with higher-quality versions as they became available.
Combining the two means that HD (or indeed 4K) remasters of older games could become much easier and cheaper to produce, especially for games where Sony still has assets used to create the original game.
They could, for instance, make a high-quality uncompressed version of original recording of a game’s soundtrack available now that storage space is much less of an issue, with the game automatically playing you that music instead of the version that was squished down to fit on the original disc.
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The same is true for updating the graphics showing what surfaces or objects look like.
If the technology works as suggested, it would give the PS5 effectively instant access to a library of over 10,000 games released across the PlayStation’s history — the PS2 alone had over 2,500 games released for it, more than any other console in history.
Want to know more about the PS5? We’ve rounded up all the latest information on the next PlayStation for you, as well as all the info on the next Xbox.
We’ve also put them head-to-head to work out who’s in pole position for the next generation battle.
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