A new PS5 patent that hints towards backward compatibility has been filed by lead system architect Mark Cerny.
Originally spotted by @shaunmcilroy (opens in new tab) on Twitter, the new patent named 'Backward Compatibility Through Use Of Spoof Clock And Fine Grain Frequency Control' has been filed on USPTO (opens in new tab). 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.
New @cerny patent sure@sounds like he’s nailed BC for older #PlayStation consoles pic.twitter.com/7n8zyzjcicJanuary 12, 2022
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.