PS5 latest news: Sony files huge new patent on backwards compatibility

As the PS4 approaches the end of its life, thoughts inevitably turn to its potential successor. That there will be one, is almost certain given the success (and importance of) the PS4 to Sony – and the comments of Sony’s CEO. Here’s what we currently have to go on:

PS5 backwards compatibility – Sony files mysterious new patent

Sony Japan has a filed a new patent concerning backwards compatibility that may see future consoles support all past PlayStation platforms.

In theory, the technology discussed in the aforementioned patent will allow future hardware to play PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 titles by mimicking the technology of previous consoles.

The PS5, once again architected by Mark Cerny, is said to contain a custom Zen 2 processor from AMD, which will be more than capable of emulation if this patent comes to fruition.

Emulating PS1 and PS3 titles on the current generation of hardware has been made difficult thanks to how fundamentally different the system architecture is, a problem that will seemingly be addressed with the PS5.

If this patent is implemented into future hardware, it’s wonderful news for Sony’s growing library of exclusive legacy titles, many of which haven’t been re-released or available through official means of emulation.

We’d also be curious to see if any of these titles, if re-released through the PlayStation Store, will be subject to visual improvements or trophy support instead of baseline emulation.

Related: Nintendo Switch Review

Sony confirms new hardware is coming

Sony has confirmed the existence of the PS5! More specifically, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida told the Financial Times [paywalled] that it is “necessary to have next-generation hardware.” The piece goes on to cite sources close to FT that say the new device “might not represent a major departure from the PS4, and that the fundamental architecture was similar.”

So there we have it, a next-generation console is likely in production at Sony, although what it is and when we can expect it remains unknown. We imagine a reveal next year is possible with a release to come in the following months, although much will become clear in time.

PS4 and PS4 Pro continue to sell incredibly well and the system’s exclusive library has plenty of support leading into 2019 with titles like Days Gone The Last of Us Part 2 and Death Stranding still to come, so Sony will want to utilise the PS4 until the very end of its lifespan, which now teeters on five years

Bethesda’s Pete Hines has also dropped some cryptic hints regarding the next generation, stating that the company is “privy” to a few things. In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Hines said, “I’m privy to some stuff which obviously I can’t really talk about, but there is also a lot that I’m not sure on what it’s going to look like. And more importantly how big a shift we can expect.”

“How much of that will change [with the next consoles], I don’t know,” Hines continued. “The rest of it doesn’t matter to me because I’m not drawing art or coding or designing. What really matters is what the developers think. What do they need and what are the kind of power and features they are looking for.”

Whether it’s next year, the year after or the year after that, the PS5 will certainly become a reality at some point. Trusted Reviews has compiled everything we know including a wishlist for the potential hardware.

PS5 release date – When is the PlayStation 5 coming out?

Sony hasn’t actually said an official thing about a new console – yet. The PS4 continues not only to be the current best-selling console on the market but one of the best sellers in history, so it makes sense to not announce a successor yet.

Microsoft has come back swinging with Xbox One X, so the PS4 is no longer the dominant machine from a specs perspective. Logic would point to Sony having to respond in some fashion.

Related: PlayStation Classic Review

PS5 Specs – How powerful will the PlayStation 5 be?

Again, without any announcements, we can’t fully assess what the PlayStation 5 will look like from a hardware perspective. We can, however, take a look at the competition, and see how Sony will compete.

Let’s take a look at the Xbox One X. It has an eight-core 2.3 GHz CPU, paired with 12GB GDDR5 memory and a GPU sporting 40 compute units operating at 1172MHz. In layman’s terms, this is a mid-range 2017 gaming PC, but with lots of clever software and hardware tricks to squeeze maximum performance out of it.

Related: PS4 Pro vs PS4

As is ever the case with console launches, manufacturers have to balance cost with performance. The PS4 has been so wildly successful because it’s been able to offer better performance on third-party titles over Xbox One.

Now the balance of power is swinging in Microsoft’s favour (albeit with a more expensive console), Sony will want to redress that and offer a console even more powerful than the One X. Or perhaps Sony will be able to counter with a less powerful but better-value console come that woolly 2018 launch date.

PS5 Price – How much will it cost?

As we don’t even know its specs, we can’t accurately guess how much the PlayStation 5 will cost.

The Xbox One X currently retails for £450 or so. Knowing this, Sony will probably aim for a similar price point if it hopes for its next console to remain competitive.

PS5 Backwards Compatibility – What can we expect?

At the launch of the PS4 Pro, system architect Mark Cerny clarified this was not the start of a new console generation. “I believe in generations. Generations are a good thing. So, philosophically, we believe in them. We believe they continue, and this is a mid-generation release,” he is quoted by Gamasutra.

Sony was at pains to make sure consumers saw the PS4 Pro, a modest improvement over the base console, as a mid-cycle refresh.

Microsoft, meanwhile, sees the One X as the beginning of the end of console generations. Microsoft’s head of marketing, Aaron Greenberg, told Engadget “We think the future is without console generations.”

Both with very different outlooks, but both doing something important: allowing players to carry over their game libraries.

Related: Upcoming PS4 Games

Sony made a misstep in a lack of PS4 backward compatibility. Microsoft capitalised by offering extensive Xbox One backward compatibility via consistent updates, with new games added almost weekly.

Both Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, as they’re not fully fledged ‘next-gen’ consoles, play all current and future Xbox One and PS4 titles respectively, but with improvements over being played on base consoles.

The PlayStation 5 simply must offer backward compatibility so that all PS4 games work on the machine.

PS5 Games – What will we get?

2017 has offered some of the best PS4 games the console has seen. So let’s look at which series are due a sequel and judge which titles might be around at launch of a new console.

With the likes of God of War, The Last of Us Part 2, Spider-Man closing out this generation, those series are pretty much locked down for the foreseeable future. Plus with Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted 4, Lost Legacy and Persona 5 all available now, we wouldn’t be seeing those titles arriving with the PS5.

It’d be more likely we’d see brand-new IP with the new console, or a return of an old favourite like Infamous or the Resistance series.

PS5 VR – Will we get a new headset?

PlayStation VR has proven a big success for Sony. Even today it’s hard to find a headset in stores or online.

It also has a great library to support it, with new releases arriving on the PlayStation Store frequently for current owners of the headset.

Related: Best PSVR Games

However, as a console VR headset, it naturally couldn’t match the power and fidelity of its PC counterparts. If the PS5 is significantly more powerful than the PS4, could we see a hardware revision to offer a better virtual reality experience?

It would make sense, as Microsoft is planning on offering VR with the Xbox One X, though based on the company’s showing at E3 this won’t be a big push at all.

What do you hope to see from the PS5? Are graphics top of your list or do you just want a huge list of great exclusives? Lets us know on Facebook or @TrustedReviews on Twitter.