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Rumor | Sony PlayStation 5 rumored to be backward compatible all the way till PS1, touted to be lower-powered than the Xbox Series X to meet a US$399 target

The PlayStation 5 will be backward compatible with games from the PS4 all the way to the PS1. (Source: LetsGoDigital)
The PlayStation 5 will be backward compatible with games from the PS4 all the way to the PS1. (Source: LetsGoDigital)
The Sony PlayStation 5 could feature backward compatibility all the way till the original PlayStation if the latest rumors are to be believed. Apparently, the PS5 will feature a Remastering Engine and its GPU will be able to operate in three distinct modes that allow for maximum compatibility with older titles while adding modern features such as 4K rendering. From the looks of it, the PlayStation 5 could be somewhat conservative in terms of raw power compared to the Xbox Series X in order to keep the price low.

With the Xbox Series X getting an early sneak peak last month, the focus is shifting to what Sony has in store with the PlayStation 5. While details about the PlayStation 5 are still elusive, news does trickle-in now and then about possible features set to grace the new console. If the latest rumors are to go by, the PlayStation 5 will not only be able to play the latest games with all the bells and whistles but also games that belong to the original PlayStation of yore. 

This information comes via HipHopGamer, who claims to have information from credible sources that the PlayStation 5 will feature a Remastering Engine that allows gamers to play PS1, PS2, PS3, and PS4 titles with modern enhancements. HipHopGamer says Sony has been working on this feature since 2012 and is part of the company's "everything everywhere" slogan.

The PS5's GPU, codenamed 'Oberon', is touted to be able to operate in three modes to adapt to these older titles — Gen0, Gen1, and Gen2. Gen2 is the full-blown PS5 experience with the 2 GHz clock. Gen1 mode resembles the GPU specs of the PS4 Pro with 36 Compute Units (CUs), 911 MHz clock, 218 GB/s memory bandwidth, and 64 ROPs while Gen0 resembles the original PS4 with half the CU and ROP counts running at 800 MHz. 

We reported last August that Oberon could sport up to 40 RDNA CUs (36 to improve yields), have a 2 GHz clock, and yield a peak performance of 9.2 TFLOPs. A recent Xbox Series X and PS5 GPU spec leak seems to confirm the same as well. The Xbox Series X is likely to be the more powerful of the two with 56 CUs yielding 12 TFLOPs. An interesting inference from these leaks is that while Sony's specifications seem to strike a balance between price and performance, Microsoft looks to be more inclined towards a high-end PC-like gaming experience to satisfy demanding gamers.

Accordingly, the Series X may demand a higher investment compared to the likely US$399 to US$499 price-point of the PS5. That being said, it may be noted that Microsoft is known to be working on a variant of the Series X that would better endear to the masses while Sony could launch a Pro version of the PS5 later with beefed-up specs. We should be hearing more information in the months to come so, stay tuned.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 12 > Sony PlayStation 5 rumored to be backward compatible all the way till PS1, touted to be lower-powered than the Xbox Series X to meet a US$399 target
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2020-01- 4 (Update: 2020-01- 5)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.