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New PS5 patent suggests a backward compatibility fix is on the way

PS5 restock November 15
(Image credit: Sony)

A new PS5 patent that hints towards backward compatibility has been filed by lead system architect Mark Cerny.

Originally spotted by @shaunmcilroy on Twitter, the new patent named 'Backward Compatibility Through Use Of Spoof Clock And Fine Grain Frequency Control' has been filed on USPTO. Considering the PS5 is already able to support PS4 games, this patent could be intended to allow players to access the likes of PS1, PS2, or PS3 games on the current-gen console. 

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The patent overview itself details how this fix works. To spare you the technical talk in its entirety, it essentially explains how "an application designed for the current version of a system" runs at that system's standard clock frequency, so PS5 games run at the PS5's frequencies, while PS3 games run at the PS3's clock frequencies. Sony intends introduce a "spoof clock," which would "return a number that corresponds to the frequency of the less powerful console," tricking the PS5 into accepting older games.

There’s no way of knowing exactly how long this patent will take to reach players or if it will even get used at all. So, unfortunately, for now, PlayStation fans will have to stick to owning all five generations of the console to play their favorite games. 

Cerny’s new patent does line up with other recent claims that Sony may be working on some kind of Xbox Game Pass competitor. In the last 24 hours, it was reported that retailers have begun pulling PS Now cards from stores, in an attempt to have them all gone by January 21, 2022. This would also coincide with the claims that a PlayStation Game Pass rival is reportedly due to launch this spring.

Need something new to play until we get PlayStation backward compatibility? Take a look at our list of best PS5 games for inspiration. 

Hope Bellingham

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at University, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became GamesRadar's trainee news writer where I get to spread the word about the goings-on in the video game world. My expertise lies in Animal Crossing related topics after spending the last 15 years immersing myself in island life. I also know a thing or two about The Last of Us, and way too much about the Kingdom Hearts series.