If like us your gaming pile of shame stretches back not only through the current console generation, but back to the mid 90s too, the PS5 could perhaps be the next machine for you.

According to a newly-uncovered patent, the PlayStation 5 may be capable not only of playing souped-up next-generation titles, but also of emulating the PlayStation 4, PS3, PS2 and original PlayStation, aka the PSX.

The patent, numbered 2019-503013, was filed by the PS4’s lead architect Mark Cerny, and describes a process that would allow the next-gen CPU to “interpret” the the CPU of previous machines. It focusses on synchronisation errors – making sure that newer, more powerful hardware only sends required information from a game in response to a “call” from the title itself, rather than jumping the gun and overwriting data being held in RAM.

The last-gen battleground

The patent also discusses the possibility of simply including hardware chipsets that mimic older consoles in the cases where the legacy design is particularly difficult to emulate, as was the case with the PS2.

In the playground fights between PS4 and Xbox One players, the area of backwards compatibility has been a key one. The Xbox One has had extensive backwards compatibility with original Xbox and Xbox 360 titles for some time, and continues to grow its legacy library, with users needing merely to pop their old discs into the console to play.

The PS4 on the other hand has relied on its PlayStation Now streaming service, which requires the user pays a subscription fee and has a strong internet connection to stream old games over the internet. It’s had a mixed reception, and isn’t truly a replacement for dusting off your own, already-owned games.

This new patent, should Sony act upon its potential, shows the company is finally taking its back catalogue seriously. And with the PS4 still playing host to a mighty library of games, it would let new players hit the ground running with compatible PS5 titles right out of the box.

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