Giant PlayStation button icons.

Enlarge / Giant PlayStation button icons. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

A Japanese patent application recently filed by Sony Interactive Entertainment is being seen by many as a hint that the next PlayStation could be fully backward compatible with PS4 software. However, a close reading suggests the patent could also describe existing methods to get original PS4 software working on the PS4 Pro.

Patent Application 2019-503013 (as discovered recently by the Hokanko-Alt blog) describes a method for “impersonating CPU ID for backward compatibility.” A machine translation of that patent details a method for “deceiving legacy application[s]” into thinking they are running on the original CPU they were designed for, rather than a more modern processor. This is done in part to prevent “synchronization errors” that could “prematurely overwrite the data still used by another component of a new device,” due to speed differences, for instance.

That certainly sounds like it could describe a way to run older PS4 games smoothly on a pending PS5. But it could also describe what the PS4 Pro already does to run applications coded for the slower original PS4.

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