The United States Patent and Trademark Office has published a new Sony Interactive Entertainment patent that many websites seem to be misconstruing--the patent does not indicate older PlayStation console peripherals will be compatible with the current-gen PS5.
On June 23, Sony published a patent for emulating and updating old PlayStation game code to run better on modern hardware. The patent is entitled Systems and Methods for Converting a Legacy Code Into an Updated Code, and one diagram in particular has been misrepresented on various sites, leading many to believe that legacy game console peripherals from the PS3 era could possible be compatible on the PS5. This isn't the case.
Examination of the patent shows no explicit mention of cross-generation legacy peripheral support for the PS5 (the PS5, however, is compatible with PS4-era peripherals).
FIG. 14 is a block diagram of an embodiment of a game console 1400 that is compatible for interfacing with a display device of a client device and is capable of communicating via the computer network 1320 (FIG. 13) with a game hosting system, such as the server system 404 (FIG. 4A). The game console 1400 is an example of the game console 402 (FIG. 4A). The game console 1400 is located within the data center or is located at a location at which a player, such as the user 1 or 2, is located. [...]The game console 1400 is provided with various peripheral devices connectable to the game console 1400.
[...]The game console 1400 has a cell processor 1428[...]
The figure that's being cited by multiple websites, FIG. 14, is directly relating to a PlayStation 3 console. It is not referencing a PS5.
The diagram's thorough descriptions are clearly outlining a PlayStation 3 console and highlight how the PS3 is compatible with PS2 memory cards, how it supports remote play with the PSP, and other peripherals like the PS Move, the PlayStation Eye, keyboards & mice, and media remotes.
Even this is theoretical, though, because the figure clearly mentions the game console can connect wirelessly to HMDs. The PS3 isn't compatible with PlayStation VR, and Sony hasn't released a wireless head-mounted display device (yet?).
The new patent gives an incredibly detailed breakdown of how emulation works both natively on-console via an "emulation processing system" and via streaming on PlayStation Now. For more information, click this link and CTRL+F search for FIG. 4A.
This patent has also fueled the speculation of native PlayStation 3 emulation on the PlayStation 4 & 5 consoles. Is that represented in the patent? Well, yes and no.
The patent specifically mentions that emulation, or conversion of the legacy code into modern-compatible code, can be compiled in both a local games console and a remote server via services like PlayStation Now.
This patent, like so many other patents do, covers a multitude of embodiments (or examples) with theoretical situations, hardware, and use-cases.
It's worth mentioning that the PlayStation 3 or PS3 aren't mentioned at all in the patent. So it's likely the mention of downloading converted legacy code is referencing how gamers can download PS1, PS2, and PS4 games to their PlayStation 5 console via PlayStation Plus and the PlayStation Store.
It's highly likely that this patent is an evolution of existing patents that Sony has filed regarding emulation.
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