This news story must be approached with a grain of salt, but that said, it looks like Sony is taking a renewed look at backward compatibility. While Microsoft has been owning that space for a while now, Sony has lagged behind tremendously. However, a new patent has emerged out of Japan that could be a hint at the future.
This patent shows technology that was conceived by Mark Cerny, the lead architect of the PlayStation 4 and the world’s biggest Knack supporter. It’s really fascinating stuff, as it seems to revolve around emulation at a CPU level. To put it in most accessible terms, one problem with backwards compatibility is how modern CPU speeds can cause problems in emulating older games. This patent shows technology that allows a CPU to detect the origin of software, and if it detects an older platform, move to imitate the CPU behavior of that platform.
This sort of high-level emulation has already been making an impact on the gaming world conceptually. For example, some developers have recently used AI to “remaster” old assets, such as the pre-rendered backgrounds in Final Fantasy VII. If we see this sort of stuff incorporated into the next PlayStation console, that could be great news for legacy gaming.
Source: Reddit (for translations)