It would seem that Sony just patented a game emulator for their next major console, tentatively named PS5. The patent actually suggests that a new gaming console would be able to “interpret” the inner workings of previously-released consoles. The patent goes by the name “Impersonating CPUID for backward compatibility” and was registered first in the official Japan Patent Office as of January 31st, 2019.
In the patent, the creators describe the need for backward compatibility in a new gaming console. “When a new version of the computer system (“new device”) is released, it is desirable that the application written for the previous version system (“legacy device”) run perfectly on the new device,” wrote the creators. “In order to deal with problems arising from differences in the behavior of CPUs to legacy devices, new devices may mimic the specific capabilities of legacy device CPUs when executing legacy applications. An important function of the ability to mimic legacy devices is to trick legacy applications to behave as if legacy applications are running on legacy devices.”