Sony has been much more open about the next generation of PlayStation over the past several months and though they are skipping E3 this year, they still have tons up their sleeve to share. Though Team Blue has already confirmed the inclusion of backwards compatibility, not unlike Xbox One, they do recognize that there are a lot of technical and legal challenges that come with this feat.
A recent patent has surfaced that was filed a few years ago in which Sony outlines their plan of action regarding the issues ahead. "Differences in performance of the hardware components of a new device and a legacy device can cause errors in synchronization on the new device, which may cause a legacy application to crash or produce incorrect output when running on a new device architecture," reads the patent. "Such differences in performance can arise, e.g., from differences in hardware architecture between the new and legacy devices."
One of the plans in place is to have devs test the games on the new hardware without changing the original coding:
"The performance of an application on a new device may be closely matched to the performance of that same application on the legacy device by tuning the operating parameters of the new device," the patent explains. "Examples of operating parameters include, among other things, the clock frequencies of the new device, the number of available general purpose registers (GPRs), instruction launch rates, and the like. The application may be run repeatedly on the new system while tuning its operating parameters to adjust the application-specific performance characteristics.
"After a sufficient number of tests on the new system one can analyze how the performance characteristics of the application on the new system converge as the operating parameters change. A new set of operating parameters can be created based on the convergence analysis. This process may be repeated until the operating parameters are set optimally for the application on the new system. To further optimize, one can adjust the execution of the new hardware to see if the application can be run faster on the new hardware without causing it to fail."
The goal is to also enhance older games, much like the Xbox backwards compatibility program, to not only bring fan favorites into the current generation, but doing so in a way that doesn't sacrifice quality.