In Sony's on-again/off-again relationship with PS2 backwards compatibility on the PS3, we've had our hopes raised to the stars and dashed again more times than we imagined possible. Today, Siliconera discovered what appears to be but one more volley in the company's neverending game with our hearts, filing for a patent for software back in December of last year (published publicly just last week). According to the report, the software is intended to "decode and recompile" the hardware used in the PS2's defining chip, the Emotion Engine, possibly allowing for previously unplayable PS2 games to become playable.

While this patent could certainly suggest things to look forward to in the rumored PS3 Slim, we've been burned in the past and aren't exactly holding our breath. Maybe more possible, Sony's Eric Lempel said in February of last year that "There are possibilities through technology and software emulation to make that possible," speaking on the subject of downloadable PS2 titles -- rather than disc-based software support, mind you. If you're into the technical side of things, Siliconera was so gracious as to shoot us the whole patent, which you can see for yourself in the gallery below.

[Via Siliconera]

[Thanks, Bryan!]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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