With rumors of a PS Plus/PS Now overhaul reaching something of a boiling point, PlayStation fans have been combing over everything the company has been doing as of late with a fine toothed comb which resulted in the discovery of an updated patent filed by the company. The patent is for backward compatibility features that would allow current PlayStation consoles to be able to run titles from older generations.
Spotted first by Shaun McIlroy on Twitter, the patent was refiled by PlayStation architect Mark Cerny on January 6, 2022. While it seems like it might be a major piece of evidence to support the rumored “Project Spartacus” which is reported to include backward compatibility options not previously seen on the PS4 and PS5, it’s important to note that the patent has been around for quite some time.
Initially filed in 2015, the patent for backward compatible options was linked to the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro which released in late 2017, around the time that the patent was refiled for the first time. It was then refiled again on January 10, 2020 and now it’s happened once more leading fans to believe that, finally, Sony is doing something about its consoles’ lack of solid backward compatibility options.
It’s still unclear what the plans are for the patent as fans have gotten their hopes up with each subsequent refiling of it; however, many signs seem to be pointing to Sony’s rumored online service revamp. That said, there are just as many signs pointing to this week’s filing of the patent being a simple matter of routine given the fact that it’s been refiled consistently every two years or so since it was initially filed.
When looking through the different claims of the patent, they do paint an ideal picture of what fans would want out of PS4 and PS5 backward compatibility, but it’s been doing that since the early days of the PS4, so there’s a big possibility that the refiling of the patent doesn’t indicate anything about the future of the consoles. Currently, all fans can do is continue hoping that this is the time that the patent sticks and actually makes a debut on PlayStation consoles, but other than its coincidental timing, there’s not much to suggest that this time, it’ll be used. After all, Sony, along with all gaming hardware companies, files for patents all the time for hardware that doesn’t see the light of day for several years.