We previously reported on a mysterious patent that hinted at some kind of cartridge-based device being in-development for Sony. The leading suspicion for many was that a newly-spotted patent was leading to some PS5 addon or storage device. And it looks like the latter of those two assumptions may prove correct. The original patent was registered at Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial (INPI) in Brazil, in the same manner that the PS5 hardware patent was. This fueled speculation about the nature of the device.
According to new reports, the patent has been updated by Sony Interactive Japan, not with new images and concepts but with a description in Japanese that can be translated like this (thanks to our colleagues at Let’s Go Digital, via PushSquare):
“This is a recording medium which can record various data, such as a character, an image, an animation, a sound and a program. By loading the opening provided by the game console with the tip end part by which a variety of pins of this cartridge were provided, the various data recorded on this cartridge can be read.”
So, this means that Sony is working towards a new expandable storage solution for their next console, at least in theory. The PS5 will have much larger games than the PS4, and the latter console generation was already pushing the limits of storage for conventional HDDs. The potential inclusion of expandable SSD storage is a wonderful, although very pricey, option for Sony to work around the problem. No confirmation though that this is what’s really happening with this patent.
The PS5 will still play discs, so this isn’t part of some new distribution idea that Sony is cooking up. Although the idea of buying an SSD pre-loaded with PS5 games does sound appealing if the price is right. Alas, sine Sony is a leading name in disc production for Blu-Ray, I can’t imagine them abandoning that edge for their console.
The PS5 is due to launch around the end of 2020, and there is a lot we still don’t know. Price and performance in general are still great mysteries. We do have a general idea on the tech specs though, painting this as a major upgrade over the PS4. Many reports suggest that Sony has the more powerful hardware in this upcoming generation, but that may not hold true on launch. Microsoft has been pushing storage and distribution innovations pretty hard recently, especially with the all-digital Xbox One S. And hot-swappable storage is a pretty big thing in the enterprise server field, with the need to clone and reconstruct data on the fly as part of massive RAID arrays being pretty constant there.
So whether Sony actually does come out with a new storage device remains to be seen, but you can bet we will keep an ear out for more news on this one.