Rumor: patent reveals Sony’s PlayStation 5 plans for “remastering by emulation”

A recently renewed patent filing originally private but updated to ownership of Sony has unveiled a potential technology path for PlayStation 5’s backwards compatibility. While PS5 is still an unknown system expected to release in 2020 or 2021, PS4 and Xbox ONE are known to be using the same architecture as PC Gaming making such software accomplishments much easier versus past situations involving custom hardware such as PS3’s CELL processor.

The newly discovered patent filing details a procedure by which assets in-game are marked with specific hash numbers and then replaced by custom textures hand crafted by artists presumably working for the development studio that produced the original game, or a contractor hired on by its publisher / current rights holder. This is system sounds similar to the Xbox ONE X method of enhancing Xbox 360 and original Xbox games like Morrowind (seen to reach 4K graphics by Bethesda’s hand), but differs in a few important ways.

PlayStation 5 should be able to upgrade the graphics of any game with or without the hard work of artists. Using a process called “remastering by emulation”, Sony describes a way to swap out assets while playing. The PSP emulator made for PS4 would be able to take advantage of this, and in fact has already been upscaling games to 4K since the release of the PS4 Pro. Titles from the PS2 library and PS4 lineup should also be able to be enhanced from this tech, but it’s unlikely that the PlayStation 5 will have a PS3 emulator… sorry folks! There’s always hoping, but PS3 could remain exclusive to the PS Now cloud gaming service for the time being, likely leading to endless remasters instead of backwards compatibility.

The patent was filed originally in 2016 but has only become public recently. Some PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro games could end up running at a higher frame rate and higher resolution than the past. Much of the enhancement coming from PS4 games being played on the PlayStation 5 are easily accomplished. Just imagine having a decent PC Gaming setup only to upgrade later, the older games you have won’t look as good as the titles made for your new graphics card – but they will certainly look and run a lot better than they did on the old machine! This is the logic behind next-gen’s backwards compatibility as the PS5 and PS4 will share much PC Gaming architecture common ground through Sony’s partnership with AMD.

[Some Info Sourced: GearNuke]

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