Patent hints at possible PlayStation 5 backwards compatibility

09 Octubre, 2018, 09:55 | Author: Misty Newman
  • PlayStation Sony PS4 Play Station 4 1

A newly discovered patent suggests that Sony are planning a new way of updating old games, with "remastering by emulation".

Sony has shown disinterest in backwards compatibility as a feature. It certainly sounds like a plan being put into place to make older games playable on newer devices, but it might not necessarily be the news PlayStation fans want to hear. Some consoles have had it, some haven't - and some have even had it removed when they began to worry that people were buying too many last gen games.

And yet if a new patent means what it seems to mean Sony don't intend to be caught out again when it comes to the PlayStation 5. Not to mention, should backward compatibility all the way back to PS1 be in the cards, then Sony will have a huge advantage over its competition when the PS5 is announced.

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Eurogamer reports that the full application explains how it could take files from "legacy software" and essentially replace them with higher-resolution assets, allowing the game to use the same framework while rendering better-looking textures or audio files. The unique identifier can be rendered by imposing a hash on the asset, and then the asset stored with its identifier in a data structure.

The US Patent and Trademark Office published the patent "Remastering by emulation" on October 2. An artist remasters the textures for presentation on a higher resolution display than envisioned in the original software, and stores them back in the data structure with their identifiers. If the system works as Sony describes in its patent, it should be able to remaster ageing video games on the fly to bring their look closer to a contemporary game. The original software is then played on the higher resolution display, with asset (such as texture) calls being intercepted, identified, and the data structure entered to retrieve the remastered asset having a matching identifier. On PlayStation 4 it has never offered the feature, instead relying on services like PlayStation Now and standalone re-releases.

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