New Sony Trophy Patent Fuels Speculation Amongst Fans

PS5 backwards compatibility for old gen games or trophies for old gen games on PS Now?

A new (sort of) patent filed by Sony Interactive Entertainment has fueled speculation amongst PlayStation fans about what the patent could be for. The trophy related patent called ‘Method and Apparatus for awarding Trophies’ was first uncovered by Reddit user u/Bartman013 over on the PS5 subreddit.

The gist of the patent is that itis a method for awarding trophies via emulation. This has obviously got fans speculating that perhaps Sony plans to add emulation, or backwards compatibility for PS1, PS2 games to the PS5 in the future.

SIE Trophy aptent iamge

However, I think that Sony adding backwards compatibility to PS1, PS2 and even PS3 games seems unlikely.

From the patent description, the main function of the patent is to award trophies in previously released and sold video games. Without modifying the original game.

This disclosure relates generally to a system and method of awarding trophies in previously released or sold video games, without modifying the original game. More specifically, the present invention relates to defining, detecting and awarding a set of trophies for the players of the previously released games.

The background of the patent states that trophies are an important part of modern gaming (trophy hunting.) However, older games (from the PS1, PS2, older PS3 games and PSP games) don’t have the trophy feature. But, it would be desirable to be able to award trophies to players playing older games that don’t have the trophy feature.

Generally, trophies are an important part of modem gaming. However, often, older games do not have the capability to award trophies to player. In order to enhance the gaming experience, it would be desirable to be able to award trophies to users playing older games that were not introduced with the trophy feature.

Will PS5 get an update to allow PS1, PS2 and PS3 games to be played on it?

Sadly, I don’t think so. What is more likely is that this patent has something to with PlayStation Now.

A recent rumour to hit the internet is that Sony will shut down the PS3, PSP and Vita stores sometime in the summer. If this rumour turns out to be true, which it probably will as Sony will close the older storefronts eventually, then it is possible they may want to add older games to the PlayStation Now subscription service.

If this is Sony’s plan, then they could well be considering adding a selection of older PS1 and PS2 games to PS Now as well. PS Now already has a small handful of PS2 games available to stream via the service. As far as I know all the PS2 games that are available on PS Now also have trophies. It could be that this patent is simply a method of adding trophies to older PlayStation games without having to modify the actual game itself.

The patent has two related but older patents, one published in 2017 and one in 2019. The older patents have the same name, this is what leads me to believe that this newer patent published on 18th March 2021 is about older games on PS Now. Rather than older games being backwards compatible on PS5.

Reddit user InfinityGems seems to think the same:

byu/Bartman013 from discussion

What could the trophy patent be for?

PS1, PS2 and PSP Consoles from PlayStation

If the patent isn’t related to making the PlayStation 5 play PS1, PS2, PS3, PSP and Vita games then we can assume that there are two possibilities.

  1. Sony plans to add older PlayStation games to the PS4 & PS5 stores for sale. The patent helps them add trophies to these games without going to the trouble of altering the games or remastering them.
  2. Sony plans to add a lot of older PlayStation games to the PlayStation Now streaming service. The patent will help them add trophies to these games without having to alter the games themselves.

Of course, I could be completely wrong and Sony is in fact planning to add backwards compatibility for old generation PlayStation games to the PS5. It’s also worth noting that a large percentage of patents published by companies by Sony never actually end up being used in any commercial product.