A newly updated patent registered by PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 architect Mark Cerny currently has hopeful fans in a bit of a frenzy. Basically, it's a backwards compatibility patent — a way for PlayStation consoles to play games from previous generations, meant for older hardware. It was very recently re-registered on the 6th January 2022, and is now doing the rounds on Twitter. Needless to say, the timing has everyone thinking that it has something to do with the heavily rumoured PS Plus overhaul, which could, supposedly, include a premium tier that gives subscribers access to PS1, PS2, and PS3 titles on PS5.
But after reading through the patent ourselves, it all seems like a bit of a reach. That's not to say Sony isn't working on additional backwards combability for PS5, but we're not sure that this patent is proof. As mentioned, the patent was re-registered — it's not new, just updated. It was originally filed in 2015, before the launch of the PS4 Pro, detailing the way that PS4 games could run better on Sony's more powerful system. Likewise, it describes the kind of backwards compatibility that the PS5 is already capable of — namely its ability to play PS4 titles.
There's nothing here that explicitly suggests that Sony has found a new way to run PS1, PS2, or PS3 games on PS5. What's more, we've written about patents just like this one before. In 2019, Sony filed a similar patent that also caused a stir over backwards compatibility. It happened again just three weeks later.
Now, we don't want to rain on the parade. The timing of this patent is interesting, given that the aforementioned new and improved PS Plus is rumoured to be revealed in early 2022. But again, based on the patent alone, it's difficult to see how it could be taken as proof that full backwards compatibility is happening. The most boring (and likely) explanation is that Sony has simply amended or updated this patent — as it has done every two years or so since 2015.
With that in mind, we'd probably advise against getting your hopes up — at least for the time being.
[source uspto.report, via twitter.com]
PS1 and PS2 emulation is child’s play at this point. Sony could easily expand the digital store to accommodate PS1 and PS2 titles and run them on hardware.
The PS3 is still an issue. That said, I think Sony should give it a shot. Pick like the 30 best selling and highest rated PS3 games. Build an emulator and optimize it for those games. Then expand it slowly over time.
>"There's nothing here that explicitly suggests that Sony has found a new way to run PS1, PS2, or PS3"
To be fair, it's not a question of if they have a way to do it - my PC is a piece of crap compared to the PS5 and it can emulate PS1, 2 and 3 games. Admittedly, the PS3 emulator isn't at the point yet where it's compatible with all games. Either way, if my PC from 6 years ago that wasn't all that great at the time can do those things (man, my PC from about twice that long ago could do PS1 and lots of PS2 games) then the PS5 can.
At this point it's just a PR thing. I don't think that many people will play their old PS1 games on the PS5 but it's great ammo for fanboy arguments on the internet and that, sadly, does have a large effect on how a console is seen and potentially how well it does.
I sometimes feel I am the only one who isn't remotely bothered by the lack of back comp.
PS1, PS2 and PS3 games are a gold mine for Sony. Hopefully a new PS feature is inbound showing us plans to make these available.
I still have 50 PS1 games and 45 PS2 games on disc. If Sony charged even up to $50 to download a software emulator for PS5 to allow the play of these discs on the new hardware... I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
Sell a subscription to an emulator and boost that constant revenue stream. Sucks for consumers to constantly shell out $ but genius move for Sony to continue to make money from a back catalogue. Could even start manufacturing old games again and charge a premium.
PS1 would be an issue, as well as a small handful of PS2 games. The PS5 can’t read CDs.
It would have to be a digital store.
@Matroska It's probably also a licensing thing to be fair. And btw, PS1 games could already be successfully emulated on PC back in PS1 times (I played Final Fantasy IX that way when it came out, back in 2000 - I never owned a PSX/PS1 myself).
I don't really have any interest playing games that are lik 20 years , only game I'd probably play again is shadow hearts from ps2/3. Man I loved that game and possibly legend of dragoon . Its really hard going back to games from like 20 years+
@Ashkorsair You're not. I was just saying to a friend in work that I want it because I don't have it, but if I did have it I'd probably never use it.
I have it on Series X and I never use it. Having it on PS5 would be no different I imagine.
Except for Vagrant Story, maybe. I still love that game.
@Matroska Yep, it really is just a PR thing at this point.
Personally, I would love if more PS4 titles got PS5 upgrades.
Here's an up to date video on the current state of PS3 emulation from the amazing modern vintage Gamer. RPCS3 currently runs over 60% of the PS3 catalogue.
If it does happen eventually, it better not be tied in with any subscription. I want to insert my copy of the greatest horror game of all time, Rugrats: Search for Reptar. Thorg is nightmare fuel in that Toy Store!
I already have PS2 Slim Japan + PS2 Fat USA + PS3 Slim + PS4 Slim hooked onto my TV so i think i'm already covered with games from PS1 - PS4 in physical.
I have a feeling a ton of people crying for backwards compatibility would not even use it.
They have a problem with cross gen games, but going back to ps1 games is fine.. Give me a break!
The "journalist" and I use that term loosely on twitter who is claiming credit for breaking this "story" is a bit of an embarrassment and should have a read before posting nonsense. You'd think folk who post this stuff for a living would actually read what stories they share.
Its clearly the PS4 - PS5 downclock.
Back compatibility would be great. Sony has so many gems through the years, would be nice to play them again. For me I use my one s more to play 360 games. It may not be high on the list for many people-but for nostalgic reasons it would be sweet for Sony to have their own.
Thanks @shepherd_Tallon very cool
(he brought this to pushsquare's attention, in the soapbox of today)
If it IS true, it won't be as easy as putting in your discs. It will be that you buy all the games again on digital download.
No thanks. I have the other consoles to play my discs on
If emulation of PS1 and PS2 games is easy, it's too bad games from that era couldn't be re-released on a Blu-ray disk in a way that is both affordable and seamless to work with PS5. Maybe a company like Limited Run Games could be the distributor. I know this all sounds dumb but I'd probably buy them.
@lolwhatno Thanks! I wanted to know if they had heard anything about it. If it was true it would be interesting. Still not sure I'd make use of it though.
I just want to play Xenogears again. Can we make that happen? Pretty please?
Would love to play some ps1 and ps2 games again, but I would really want trophy support. Supposedly they have worked on a way to add them in without dev involvement (although these would only be for hitting points through the game).
I’m mixed about it.
There’s a handful of PS1 games I like to replay on occasion. I have a PS3 for that.
On the other hand my time is so limited that I have a calendar set up for my gaming sessions so I complete games to my satisfaction.
Replaying older games keeps me from playing new games.
With that said, I think the Switch is the perfect way to play retro titles since it’s portable. I have a boat load of classic collections on that console.
Would cost too much.
If they come back, it’ll be digital only.
Now Duckstation has finally given us what we all want from PS1 emulation, and goes above and beyond anything official Sony could offer, I have zero interest in anything they may do.
At the end of the day, it's up to ourselves to preserve our own libraries of retro games because these companies simply do not care. The majority of my retro collection is backed up across multiple drives and safe from servers being switched off by gaming corporations. I have pretty much every mini console released in the past five years modded (where possible), CFW PSP 3003, DS with flash cart, and of course a PC. This incidentally allowed me to exit the increasingly absurd physical collecting market that has become prohibitively expensive, takes up too much space, and often offers a worse experience when using modern flat screen panels.
I've spent tens of thousands on this hobby over my lifetime, and I've reached a point where curating my own collection is the only thing that makes sense because I refuse to buy the same thing again and again.
@TheRedComet Forgot about that. Maybe there'd be a way to identify what game was in the system and it would give access to a digital version of the game? 🤔
I want Xenogears on Switch. Really bad.
Since Square has been on a tear remastering their Golden Era games (to various levels of success, although none of them have been objectively bad so far) I’m hoping Xenogears is in the pipeline.
That said… if they do it… I want them to actually finish it. The game is incomplete, which is why disc 2 is so… well it just is what it is. They ran out of development time so they polished what they had complete (basically disc 1) and then threw something together and condensed the ending down dramatically.
They restored the lost scenario in Saga Frontier. I’m hoping they could do the same with Xenogears, although I understand it would be complicated since unlike the Saga Frontier situation (where the canceled content was finished back in 1997 but just needed polishing and balancing, making it easy to incorporate) I don’t think Xenogear’s real end game exists in a playable form. They’d actually be building new content from scrap based on the original design documents.
I’m not sure how they would do it. The PS5 could tell that it’s an unsupported format but with no way to actually read the metadata on the disc, I don’t see how they could make it work.
But then again Sony has engineers who make six figures per year. They could probably figure something out.
“hopeful fans in a bit of a frenzy” describes half of what you read on the internet nowadays, and “it all seems like a bit of a reach” describes the other half.
@TheRedComet Here's hoping. Time will tell. Who knows... maybe they'd bring back the digital PS1-PS3 games from the PS3 era and cross reference what was bought back then as well giving access to those on the PS5.
@TheRedComet That's true, however, I'd be willing to buy some sort of disc addon that could read discs, even some official Sony thing that could be a bit more expensive than the ones we have on the market.
@Uncharted2007 I agree but you no that is not going to happen, capitalism and all that
@jrt87 same here buddy, archived all my retro stuff so I don't care what Sony really does tbh, it's going to be about profit and not for the consumers benefit anyways
@huyi sigh.... I know
i'd like to see them release a ps2 classic console , with hdmi , that could work with ps3/ps4/ps5 controllers , that has a disc drive and that can go online to download ps1 classics that you own and download to the hard drive.
Make the PS5 Slim be able to read CDs, include a load of tech that will aid emulation, make it rest horizontally without a stand, and watch everyone re-buy the console. I would!
Given all you have to do on the Xbox is put the disk into the machine I think charging for the ability to play your own PS1 and 2 games would be more bad press. If they include a emulator as part of PS Now they need to make it freely available to those with their owns disk for free, just like the competition. Sony is not operating in a vacuum and they need to remain competitive and feature set.
While I don't think it will happen I'm still hoping Sony will look to match GamePass on the new games front. I don't see many folks paying more for today's PS plus/PS now + some 20 year old games. But it seems to work for Nintendo so who knows..
When it comes to backwards compatibility and Sony's vast library of ps1, 2, 3 games, does it fall on sony or the devs/pubs to make these games available? Is licensing going to be an issue on how many or what games get the BC treatment? Syphon filter was partly dev and pub by sony interactive, so no worries there. But soul reaver was dev by crystal dynamics and pub squarenix/eidos.
@Ashkorsair I'm not going to go into too many details here. But I have access to a lot of data on this front from my work. and while it creates a lot of heated forum fanboy arguments, BC does not significantly drive purchase decision. It's a nice to have; but console decisions are based on power, library, price and general brand affinity... I've been discussing this very question of how critical is backwards compatibility to the launch of a new console with multiple key industry players... ^_^
All gamers say they want BC, but 99% will pick the console without BC if it has better games/ecosystem. No offense to MSFT, but BC is the weapon you use when you can't build a new and unique library for your new platform.... if you can, you don't need BC....
PS: I don't mean to disrespect anybody, these are just what (non public) market data is showing
@PhhhCough if it has physical backcompat, where you just put the disc in, then it would just be Sony adding that functionality. You already own the game so can play it on any console that plays it.
If it's digital backcompat, it would also be on the publisher to relist the game for digital sale. Some of those games may not be allowed for new sales anymore due to expired licenses, so may incur costs in the publisher to renegotiate licensing deals or update the game to remove content, costs they may not be willing to spend.
The only way I'd go back to the PS1/PS2 titles is if they added trophies. Im not in the group screaming to let me play my 20 year old disc for free. Im willing to pay for each game just add trophies.
@TheRedComet I seen a lot of people post on here that the PS5 cannot read CD's; but I have yet to see a single person offer any proof that this is actually true. There is a difference between "it doesn't" (the software/drivers reject it) and "it is incapable of" (the hardware cannot physically do it) and I have a feeling that people are confusing the former with the latter.
I don't know how many consumers would want to play PS1, PS2 or even PS3 games, but anyone that has played those games or has them would appreciate the ability.
The question is the laser assembly design.
It can read DVDs, so in theory it should be able to read CDs (most DVD lasers can operate in infrared for reading CDs) on a hardware level.
Doesn’t mean Sony hasn’t stripped out functionality, though. Technically they could limit the laser to only reading in red spectrum. In that case it would read DVDs, but not CDs.
As for Blu Ray, they use violet lasers. The laser pickup assembly will usually have two diodes. One for violet and one for red/infrared.
The question is ultimately if Sony stuck to design “recommendations” by the Blu-Ray forum for its red wavelength laser. It’s not a binding agreement, just a suggestion, so they could modify the hardware to exclude infrared if they wanted to.
How dare a publicly traded company aim for profit?
Just release a Legend of Dragoon remake/remaster and ill buy it.
I imagine when Sony does announce its new PS now/PSplus hybrid it will have a list of "curated games" from previous generations (ridge racer, Ape escape) a.but nothing too major.. kind of like the playstation classic . Then throw a bunch of ps4 games on top to fatten up the list. Still, I'm wishing for ssx tricky to show up
I wonder if the PS1 and PSP games will have Trophies?
I wouldnt go back and play old games that look and plays bad compare to games now.
Thats why I dont play indies either since 99% looks like a game made in 80/90s.
Remake Vagrant story, Legend of dragoon and some other old favorites and I buy them instead.
Since the PS3 days(once SONY dropped PS2 playback from the PS3's. The !!!WORSE DAY EVER!!! Well in my eyes anyway) I have been banging on about full (disc)B/C for years and years(probably every day on the Internet) But just gave up once the PS5 came out and it only had PS4 playback. I gave up asking really. If they could do it(& I could use my PS1/2&3 discs in my PS5 er it would be the !!!BEST DAY EVER!!!) But I can't see it ever happening Oh well.
Removed - inappropriate language
Still not getting my hopes up until an official announcement has been made...
so... i believe the ps5 does not have the ability to read cd's. if anyone is hoping to be able to play a ps1 disc on ps5, that is likely going to be impossible due to the ps5 not having the necessary hardware to do it, emulation or not. i don't even know if the ps5 would be able to validate a ps1 disc and thus allow the user to download a digital ps1 game as a means of backwards compatibility. of course, whatever the case, it would be a heavily curated list of games anyways and chances are only a select number similar to the libray of ps1 classics on ps3. as for ps2 and ps3 games, it is anyone's guess, but chances are a curated list released by sony is all we are going to get and that makes this initiative less interesting to me. unless i can pop in ANY ps3 disc into a ps5 and play it with some enhancements (higher resolution, improved framerates, etc), it have no need for this half assed backwards compatibility initiative. i'm going to be picking up a retrotink 5X and will have no problems upscaling ps1 and ps2 games to an hd tv. that is the way to go if you are serious about sony's legacy titles and don't have the space for a crt.
I think some people making a fuss about those old games are the same ones getting their panties in a twist because PS4 is still supported.haha
(And asking for a cross gen Days Gone haha)
Especially Twitter and YouTube posters.
Yep it’s PR but it’s also console war ammo to one up the competition haha
I do see old games being relevant on old TV or small screens like phones and tablets though.
Also people are different so some people do want it on PS5 which is fine. I think they are a minority though.
My S21 Ultra can play play PS1 games upscaled to full HD and 60 fps without an issue using the ePSXe emulator, so I'm pretty sure it's a matter of when and not if they add a PS1/2 emulator on the PS5.
@JJ2 That's fair.
I sounded a bit like I was almost against it in that last comment, which I'm genuinely not.
I'm just not sure how much I'll use it once we get it.
The way I see it is, I'd love to have the old library available to stream/download, and I'd be excited if that's what they do with the PS Plus revamp, I'm just not sure how often I'd make use of it.
I guess I want the option of being able to play the old games if the fancy takes me, or rather, if the games exist it's right that we should be able to play them, I just don't know if I would.
Well, as I said before, I'd be all over Vagrant Story. Or anything else I have nostalgia for really. But that would probably be it.
Edit: I was saying to someone else yesterday that, while Sony have already said that full backwards compact wouldn't be worth the return on investment, it might be worth doing for the PR win alone.
Old games should be preserved and if Sony can do this they have my vote and money
It would cause a stir but maybe a CD/DVD add-on drive via USB?
I'm still curious how Xbox is able to do it with discs. Most Blu-Ray drives lack the red laser switching that is required to read CD's and DVD's which all Xbox games prior to the Xbox One used. Unless they use one that has both the red and blue laser reader on the series X it is technically impossible.
To be fair, if they are working on it, they would’ve been doing it for a while. That’s not to say it’ll happen, but an update would be realistic.
I've got a day-one PS3 under the stairs if I get really itchy to play classic games, but I could also play PS1-2 games on a potato PC using a DualShock 4 or DualSense.
I'm more excited for PlayStation's future than I am nostalgic for its past. Some of my best childhood PS2 memories, GTA aside, were playing GT3-4, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Simpsons Hit & Run (of all things) with my sister. We've got a killer system in the PS5 and I want to see that maxed much more than old games appearing.
But that's just, like, my opinion, man.
@TheRedComet but it's most probably a software issue, which could be fixed in a firmware update. All of my BluRay players/recorders work perfectly fine with CD and CD-R media.
Even cheapest BD-ROM PC drives can read CDs. I just don't believe that Sony purposely scrapped this functionality on hardware level.
@GADG3Tx87 Must have duel frequency as you can still play CD's on Xbox, Both last gen and new gen. A lot of Duel laser devices are still made. I'm guessing these will become rarer as the lower density red stuff becomes older but PS4 was kind of the odd ball on its release as a device with blue laser only as most devices at the time aimed to be cross compatible. The PS3 was duel laser.
If Sony add BC it’s a massive deal for me. Whilst I agree it’s a stretch I hope it’s true
I got my PS2 out of the loft one afternoon during lockdown and played a bunch of PS1 and PS2 games. Syphon Filter, Vagrant Story, Onimusha and a load of others I had great memories of playing back in the day.
The PS2 went back in the loft the same day as sadly the reality didn't match the nostalgia. Backwards compatibility for older games is something I'd probably use once and never again and Sony know it.
Okay, I've just checked throwing an audio CD and an audio CD-R into the PS5 and XSX.
Xbox launched a "Groove" application which started playing music from both my CD and CD-R (it even downloaded some covers to display while playing).
PS5 continued to spin the disc indefinitely (after waiting for about 1 minute, I ejected the disc), that was true for both the CD-R and pressed CD.
That means, we can make a conclusion that the PS5 does not read CD (but it's unknown if it's a software or hardware limitation), while the Xbox Series X can, at least, play audio CDs.
Both consoles have Ultra-HD Blu-Ray drives.
Yeah that's what I was getting at. I assume that newer devices neglect using old technology in the thought that hardly anyone uses old discs these days. And it saves them money.
In terms of a games console though it would make sense to play old games and would have been a selling point to a lot of people in my opinion. To use drives compatible with older laser readers would have been a smart decision for Sony, it would cost a bit more to have but they would get that back with peoples desire to play old games. In many ways I think it would get them more sales just for that.
Jim Ryan however, atleast initially said "who would play these". The 'retro' community is bigger than he thinks.
I have my old consoles and still play them so I'm good either way, but to play them all on one device would be nice. Even I am considering an Xbox to play my older discs again, especially given how unreliable the X360 could be. I'm assuming the PS5 can't read old discs and it's a big mistake from Sony if that be the case in my opinion.
@GADG3Tx87 Yep, I have a large PS collection going back to the beginning. I currently have a day one PS3 still connected and I found a second one in very good order a few years ago that I packed away for the day mine dies. This covers PS1,2 and 3 games. But sooner or later these are going to die. My first Xbox was the One X so I don't have a collection of Xbox games but for those that do, They are in a much better place than PS collectors like myself. I find myself reluctant to use my PS collection because in the back of my mind every use is one less remaining. I have close to 4000 physical PS games in my collection and most rely on a single 15 year old piece of hardware to function. I get that collectors are a tiny proportion of customers but compared to XBox most feel PS does not have any care for us or their own history.
@TheRedComet Yeah Switch would be the ideal platform, but I’d play it anywhere! I’d be happy with the OG game too, as it’s quite long. But a remaster with new content would be something special!
I don't have the backwards compatible PS3, mine was the 40GB version which I later replaced with a super slim for space. It's still connected to my TV now but what worries me about the BC PS3 is the many Reddit posts I see of them failing, they seem, eventually, unreliable.
I still have my fat PS2 working as good as the day I got it and recently have been revisiting Mercenaries Playground of Destruction and Silent Hill 4.
In terms of legacy I remember watching one of the PlayStation broadcasts recently where Jim Ryan said "At PlayStation we respect our legacy" I shouted at the TV "Bo***cks! Where's the BC, then!" lol.
Skyrim killed my BC PS3 a couple years back, and just the other day, my newer PS3 Slim seems to be having PSU issues and won't turn on (so I'm now faced with trying to fix it or buy yet another PS3, which is actually not appealing since SOny have gimped the PS3 Store). And my PS4 obviously only plays PS4 games.
The XBox BC isn't 100% perfect, but it's by far the best BC solution I've seen in a console since the PS2. And I would gladly rebuy my entire PS1-2 collection in digital format. Because at this point, I can't rely on my old hardware anymore.
Watching XBox slowly add BC games was actually very exciting, especially when it was a 360 game that you already owned and it just appeared in your library, or some classic that you somehow managed to miss or not played in ten years. Having Sony do the same thing would be hugely special.
100.00% would purchase the PSX5 if this is realized. So many PSX, 2,3 & 4 games in my catalog. That would save me from having the 4 consoles out. PSX 2 The 3 Is The Ones For Me. Fun, Fun, Fun.
People who love to hate on PS for lack of backwards compatibility need to stop and think about WHY for a second.
XBox has been a PC-in-a-box since the original. It's mostly standard components running a modified version of Windows. That's it. It's no harder to run an old game on the newest XBox than it is to run an old Windows game (or maybe even a DOS game) on a new PC. The issues are known, the hardware is basically the same but faster, so emulation - if it's even needed - is relatively simple.
Playstation wrote their own OS and had hardware that was unique - particularly the PS3, which even today they can't get an emulator to work with games that were really written to take advantage of the full power of the multiple cores (games that were written for PC and ported and don't take much advantage of the unique hardware are much lower-hanging fruit). Emulating hardware that is fundamentally different than the hardware you're using is much harder than emulating a slower version of the same thing. And it's uncertain if today's beefy computers can emulate the PS3 hardware fully and completely at full speed - it was just DIFFERENT.
The reason the PS5 can be backwards compatible with the PS4 is that, for better or worse, both are basically PC-in-a-box just like XBox. Upgrading from one known architecture to another is MUCH simpler, even if it has issues like clock speed (as addressed in this patent) to consider.
Finally, Sony wants to make money. How much development time do you want them to spend making an emulator so you can play your old games for free? Sure, you can complain they're greedy - but is that different from us wanting them to spend their money on something they know they can't recover the costs of development from? I'd rather they spend those resources improving the PS5 and working on PSVR2. But that's just me.
Guess it's the only way I ever play Ar Tonelico as Namco Bandai refuse to remaster it.
@Ashkorsair trust me you’re not lol it bugs the hell out of me! With PS5 I was hoping with psone and PS2 games you’d be able to pop those discs in there but nope! PS3 i can give Sony a pass on but Let’s hope Sony has something good cooking with Back compat!
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