A new patent by Sony indicates the upcoming PlayStation 5 may have external, interchangeable cartridges of some sort. Although a small amount of information has already been revealed about Sony's upcoming console, such as the PS5 containing a controller which features haptic feedback and a promised PlayStation 5 launch lineup the company has said is guaranteed to satisfy players, there are still many things players do not know ahead of the system's Holiday 2020 release date.
According to a now-deleted section of a former Sony job listing, the PlayStation 5 is the world's fastest console, likely in part due to the company's push for solid-state drives in next generation game systems. Multiple developers have gone on the record and insisted SSD is the future of gaming, and although there have not yet been any detailed confirmed specifications about the PS5 there have been multiple seemingly-confirmed rumors about PlayStation 5 dev kits being distributed to multiple AAA game companies. Now, a new patent may shed some more like on just what exactly Sony has planned for the future.
According to a report by LetsGoDigital, Sony has filed another patent at the same offices where the original paperwork for the PlayStation 5 development kit was filed, this time for some sort of PlayStation cartridge. The designer of the cartridge, Yujin Morisawa, is the Senior Art Director at Sony and, according to the report, is "responsible for all products associated with the PlayStation brand."
If the PlayStation 5 does indeed feature some sort of cartridge system, there are really only two options. Either they will be for games, with Sony following in the Nintendo Switch's footsteps, or they will be for some sort of removable memory system, perhaps even removable solid state drives. Since the patent itself is for an object rather large for a game cartridge and Sony has never dealt with any other form of instertable media besides discs in the past, it's unlikely to be the former, and, according to an in-depth look at the patent by PSU, the amount of pins featured suggest it's too small for an SSD, leaving only detachable memory as an option remaining.
Having the cartridge be some sort of next generation "memory card" makes more sense, especially when considering how many games are only available as digital downloads. As more and more AAA game companies release titles with overbearingly-large file sizes (looking at you, Rockstar Games) it's only natural people will need to increase their console's memory lest they risk uninstalling a game and not having access to it later. While many players still prefer physical media, if only to ensure constant ownership of their games over time, plenty of others happily fill their own console's hard drives up with downloadable titles on a daily basis, and easily-swappable memory sticks could be just the thing the PlayStation 5 needs.