New PS5 patent suggests PS4 games could run faster

A new Sony patent has revealed that the PlayStation 5’s backwards compatibility could offer a substantial performance boost to PS4 games running on the PS5’s hardware, using the extra grunt to push performance.

A patent, file all the way back in March 2017 but re-published on May 28 of 2019, and although you have to cut through the patent-speak to get to the meat of it all, the patent is titled: “”Real-time adjustment of application-specific operating parameters for backwards compatibility” and focuses on taking software designed for legacy hardware, and then testing it on new hardware. You know, standard emulation stuff.

Then it gets interesting. A line in the patent explains: “To further optimise, one can adjust the execution of the new hardware to see if the application can be run faster on the new hardware without causing it to fail.”

Think of it like the PS4 Pro’s boost mode, except that the performance increase between the PS4 and Sony’s as yet untitled next-gen machine — we’ll stick with PS5 until told otherwise — is likely to be even more substantial.

This fits with what we already know about the next-gen system. Online multiplayer between the PS4 and PS5 is already going to be shared, and we’ll no doubt find out more about the PS5’s backwards compatibility in the run up to the console’s release. 

The patent doesn’t touch on the idea of enhanced textures or other shiny new features, as these would be beyond the scope, but this is something that the Xbox One and Xbox One X has had some serious success with, and indeed current-gen consoles, with re-release after re-release, certainly seem interested in putting in the work. It’s just that the exact details are likely to be fuzzy until Sony decides to pull back the curtain on it all.

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