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Sony Patents Awarding Trophies via Emulation for Older Games

Topher

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It looks like Sony is banking on more backwards compatibility features, as a new patent has surfaced where PlayStation Trophies will be awarded for older games running on emulation software. Now, unless Sony suddenly changes tack and allows people to play PlayStation games via emulation, this is somehow tied to backwards compatibility.


The filing (which was applied on November 30, 2020 and was published last week) over on Patentscope states the following:




A computer-implemented method assigns one or more trophies to a user. A game is emulated in response to a request from a client device. A trophy trigger is detected during emulation of the game by comparing a memory value of the emulated game to a predetermined value and assigning the one or more trophies to the user based on the detected trophy trigger
The patent goes on to describe this as method of implementing trophies into previously released games that have no trophies, without actually modifying the software itself. For example, PS2 games previously released on PS4 that have trophies are essentially native console ports for the system, thus the reason why they work on PS5 still.
However, some older PS2 titles, say from the PS3 are still the original versions that released on PS2. Because of this, they lack trophy support of any kind and adding them would require the game to be modified, thus creating a “native” port for the newer console. This patent seems to be looking into a way around that, adding these trophies via network or software emulation, thus keeping the original game code intact.
Note that not every patent filed from a company gets used, however it does seem a bit odd that they would be looking into emulation of awarding trophies for old games, especially since the PS5 is backwards compatible with almost all PS4 games, and nearly all have a trophy set already. Perhaps Sony is looking into implementing this into PlayStation Now, or maybe backwards compatibility for PS1, PS2, and even PS3 isn’t entirely off the table? Who knows, but it is an interesting patent.

Sony Patents Awarding Trophies via Emulation for Older Games - MP1st
 

xrnzaaas

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Feels like a difficult thing to achieve without interfering with the original code in any way. Or at least heavily modifying the emulation software.
 
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Cert.in.Death

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IIRC, doesn’t Retroarch have an achievement function for certain ROMs? I don’t remember precisely how it works.

My primary question is who is going to perform the work identifying and building out the trophy lists? Many of the companies/studios are no longer around and if Sony were to do it themselves, it would require a significant amount of labor plus require licensure from the current copyright owners.
 

R6Rider

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Meme Think GIF


What are you up to Sony?
 

SilentUser

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It would be nice to have the possibility to play older games, with or without trophies, but only if it supports a real upscaling system and higher FPS.

Of course, Psone titles should receive some graphical upgrades through emulation too, some are borderline unplayable nowadays.
 

Trogdor1123

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Feels like a difficult thing to achieve without interfering with the original code in any way. Or at least heavily modifying the emulation software.
Can't be harder then the way Xbox can double framerate, add hdr, and increase the resolution.
 

YCoCg

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This is an old patent, it's what was used to add trophies to PS2 games on PS4.
 

Kokoloko85

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Doubt its true but Id love to play some PS1 and PS2 games on the PS5. PS3 I can live without but theres no excuse for no PS1 and PS2 games.

Even the library of PS1 and PS2 games on the PS3/PSP and Vita was good. At least bring those over and add some more in time
 
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emmerrei

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Just release the original game as they were intended to be played and stop wasting time in unnecessary stuff.
 

Agent X

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The PS2 games on PS4 had to be redeveloped and coded for Trophy support. This patent is talking about doing the same thing "without actually modifying the software itself".

The PS2 games on PS4 weren't entirely "redeveloped". They were emulated on PS4, but the addition of trophies required some level of developer intervention. This is what Fox Mulder Fox Mulder alluded to a few posts above yours--publishers and developers would have preferred to simply give their approval and post the PS2 games up on the store "as is" without being required to put in extra work to add trophies.

I don't think this patent is doing anything radically different. Someone is going to have to define the trophy conditions, and someone is going to have to play through the game multiple times to test that the trophies work as intended. And just as before: If this is optional, then there's no problem, but if it's required, then a lot of publishers and developers will give this a hard pass, because they don't want to waste time and resources on rejiggering old games.

When Microsoft brought original Xbox games to Xbox One, they didn't require developers to go back and add achievements. This clearly resonated better with third parties. Notice that some big-name publishers like Electronic Arts and Ubisoft released multiple original Xbox games for Xbox One, while simultaneously snubbing Sony's initiative to bring PS2 games to PS4.

Sony committed a huge blunder by making trophies mandatory for PS2 games on PS4. I sincerely hope they do not repeat this mistake.
 
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Mar 27, 2020
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IIRC, doesn’t Retroarch have an achievement function for certain ROMs? I don’t remember precisely how it works.

My primary question is who is going to perform the work identifying and building out the trophy lists? Many of the companies/studios are no longer around and if Sony were to do it themselves, it would require a significant amount of labor plus require licensure from the current copyright owners.

Yes retroachievements.


I never configured my device to use them though.
 

Topher

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The PS2 games on PS4 weren't entirely "redeveloped". They were emulated on PS4, but the addition of trophies required some level of developer intervention. This is what Fox Mulder Fox Mulder alluded to a few posts above yours--publishers and developers would have preferred to simply give their approval and post the PS2 games up on the store "as is" without being required to put in extra work to add trophies.

I don't think this patent is doing anything radically different. Someone is going to have to define the trophy conditions, and someone is going to have to play through the game multiple times to test that the trophies work as intended. And just as before: If this is optional, then there's no problem, but if it's required, then a lot of publishers and developers will give this a hard pass, because they don't want to waste time and resources on rejiggering old games.

When Microsoft brought original Xbox games to Xbox One, they didn't require developers to go back and add achievements. This clearly resonated better with third parties. Notice that some big-name publishers like Electronic Arts and Ubisoft released multiple original Xbox games for Xbox One, while simultaneously snubbing Sony's initiative to bring PS2 games to PS4.

Sony committed a huge blunder by making trophies mandatory for PS2 games on PS4. I sincerely hope they do not repeat this mistake.

Yeah, great points. If we can get more older PS games on PS4 and PS5 then the lack of trophy support is worth it, although personally I would love to see that as well.
 
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sublimit

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They ps2 on ps4 games did this. This is a old patent. Jim Ryan will die before he lets you play old games.
But not the ones on PS3/PSVita.

This is more likely for PS2/PS1 games that were released digitally on PS3/PSVita and they are available on PS Now but they don't have trophies.
Personally this doesn't interest me since i don't plan on ever buying a PSNow subscription.
 
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Agent X

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This is more likely for PS2/PS1 games that were released digitally on PS3/PSVita and they are available on PS Now but they don't have trophies.

There are no PS1 games on PS Now.

The PS2 games that are on PS Now are the versions that are sold through PS Store on PS4, so they already have trophies.
 

sublimit

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There are no PS1 games on PS Now.

The PS2 games that are on PS Now are the versions that are sold through PS Store on PS4, so they already have trophies.
Interesting then.

Could it be then for physical PS1/PS2 games?? if that's the case that will be huge.
 

jshackles

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Retroarch already did it, back in the 2019

And RetroAchievements (the integration service that Retroarch uses) has been around a lot longer than that. Before the Retroarch integration, they used their own packaged emulators. I've personally been on that site since 2015, but even then it was a few years old...

EDIT: they launched in March 2013!
 
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Cert.in.Death

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Yes retroachievements.


I never configured my device to use them though.
Much appreciated.

Odd that it requires connection to a server while playing in order to unlock. Any known explanation as to why? My mind naturally gravitates to altering source code and invoking copyright infringement, but maybe it's a simple engineering reason, as in wanting to keep the platform as lightweight as possible. Can't help but wonder.
 

sublimit

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Just curious do the original Xbox games that are BC on XBone/XSS/XsX have achievements?
 

Agent X

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Just curious do the original Xbox games that are BC on XBone/XSS/XsX have achievements?

No, and I think that's one reason why some major publishers chose to release original Xbox games for Xbox One, while they did not release any PS2 games for PS4.
 

ButchCat

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About time they PS Now forward because it stinks at the moment. Although nothing good ever comes out of these patents.
 
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They ps2 on ps4 games did this. This is a old patent. Jim Ryan will die before he lets you play old games.
Yep it is a continuation of a 2015 2016 patent. Sony keeps all their patents open because then it helps with adjusting the claims for future infringers and any updated plans. They rich so it’s no biggie
 
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Faithless83

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They had quite a few patents related to backwards compatibility. "Instant remasters" where the textures were replaced on the fly by the emulator with a new pack of textures.



I've made a post about it last September

 
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Reality Czar

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I played Demon's at 4k and it had the emulated achievements. Yeah sounds like they are putting more old games on PS5.
 

ComputerBlue

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They patented this back in like 2014 or so. PS2 to PS4 uses this, but PS2 to PS4 was discarded just like 75% of the shit they do. We got like what, 30 games maybe?
 
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