Legacy emulation with extra content coming to PS4?

News Aaron Birch
6 Jan 2014 - 06:13

A patent filed by Sony cold hint that the PS4 will receive an interesting take on backwards compatibility...

IGN is reporting that a new patent filed by Sony at the United States Patent & Trademark Office is looking at the possibility of adding new content into older, legacy games streamed via the cloud. On a basic level, the technology would allow developers to stop the original gameplay of an older titles being played from Sony's online service, and splice in new additions, all without altering the original game's code.

Called 'Suspending state of cloud-based legacy applications', the patent features in-depth information about the idea (see the link below), along with some background for the patent, beginning with the general idea that's spurred the new technology.

“Finding new ways to play preexisting video games can increase the longevity of older games. Instead of replaying the same level or completing the same missions repeatedly, gamers often desire new challenges when replaying legacy games. In response to this need, game designers have begun to produce mini-games. Within a mini-game, the gamer can be instructed to complete new objectives or challenge their friends for high scores in a format that was not originally designed into the legacy game. Further, since the mini-game is derived from a legacy game, the gamer already knows the characters and basic components of the game, and is therefore more likely to play the mini-game.”

It's an interesting take on backward compatibility and emulation, and hints that we could expect to see older PS3, PS2, or maybe even PS1 titles with new content appearing on PSN. If so, this cold be a very big thing for retro gamers, and those simply wanting to pack away the older consoles to focus on their shiny new PS4s.

United States Patent & Trademark Office

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