Gamers love backwards compatibility. Even video game figureheads in the C-suite like Xbox’s Phil Spencer who once insisted backwards compatibility was a little used feature have changed their minds about its value. I agree: playing classic games on newer systems is a great feature that only makes a console better.
Sony was a champion of backwards compatibility once upon a time. Every PS2 could run PS1 games at a hardware level, and launch PS3s could do the same for both of those legacy platforms. In the PS4 era, though, backwards compatibility ceased to be a priority for the company. Thankfully that seems to be changing. According to a new patent, Sony is at least experimenting with technology that allows its next console to be backwards compatible with every prior PlayStation. A potential PS5 would play the games from every generation of PlayStation.. The news about the patent was discovered on Reddit.
This would mark a big shift for Sony. Many PlayStation faithful were disappointed by the PS4’s lacks backwards compatibility with the PS3, a feeling that was prominent even before Microsoft announced that the Xbox One could play Xbox 360 games.
Sony’s push for backwards compatibility may be a big reassurance for other reasons as well. With online stores closing and Gamestop edging closer to the precipice of irrelevance, it’s becoming more and more difficult to play games belonging to the medium’s storied history, and a PS5 that can run games from the 1990s would be a great start to ensure that gamers have access to some of gaming’s greatest hits. If Sony can carry over the existing stellar digital library of PS1 and PS2 games available on PS3 and PS Vita, PlayStation 5 will arrive with a powerful classic gaming warchest.