A recently-discovered patent implies Sony might be alive on a new kind of game cartridge. Whether this is an idea for its accessible console, tentatively called the PlayStation 5, or an as-yet-unknown almsman to the poor old PlayStation Vita, we don’t know — but it’s also accessible it could be both.

Dutch site  today appear the patent, which was filed in South Korea last year with Korean Intellectual Property Right Information Service (KIPRIS). It shows a game armament with a small port on one end and a keychain-like hole on the other. It’s an abnormal shape for a game cartridge, to be sure. What’s the point of the hole? Does the aggregation brainstorm I’ll be cutting it on a chain around my neck like some kind of gamer dog tag? (Probably not, but it’s a funny image.)

The image itself doesn’t really tell us much, and it’s always accessible it’ll never amount to annihilation more than a aberrant idea from Sony‘s R&D department. But if it something Sony is actively because for future devices, it paints a account of what that animate (or consoles) would look like.

Now, there are three current-generations consoles that use cartridges. One is Sony‘s own PlayStation Vita. The other two are Nintendo’s 3DS and Switch.

If these new cartridges are aggressive by the Vita, that might raise absorbing implications about the future of that accurate console, as Sony has all but given it up. Sony has already appear it would be alternate concrete game cartridges for the Vita, and all signs are pointing to the little-loved handheld going the way of the PSP. A Sony controlling has maintained it’s not absorbed in a new handheld, whic would seem to kill that theory.

If they’re aggressive by the Switch, then one wonders whether Sony is rethinking its access to portability afterward the success of the Nintendo Switch. PlayStation CEO John Kodera alone a lot of hints in an account with earlier this year that that’s what the aggregation was aiming towards, implying the aggregation was attractive to accommodate some form of portability into its animate lineup:

In my opinion, rather than amid carriageable gaming from consoles, it’s all-important to abide cerebration of it (portable gaming) as one method to bear more gaming adventures and exploring what our barter want from portable… We want to think about many options.

Here’s a thought: conceivably the new armament is for a new kind of handheld, but one which is tied more carefully to the standalone animate — the PS5, let’s say. If that were the case, it would solve two major problems with portability in such as it is in both the Switch and the Vita.

It’s often forgotten, but the Vita offered the adeptness to play PS4 games on a smaller, carriageable screens via link app before the Switch came along — it’s accessible it was afterward in the footsteps of the Wii U. That said, and while it had hardly more account than the Wii U’s second screen, it wasn’t what I’d call one of the handheld’s better points. One of the difficulties with using the Vita to play PS4 games was that the handheld‘s controls were altered from the Dualshock. The Vita attempted to atone with its touch-sensitive back, but that (no pun intended) was very alarming depending on the game.

But the abstraction itself was a good one, and Nintendo has proven the market for a carriageable supplement to a home animate exists. So if Sony designs its next handheld to purpose, in affiliation with its animate — the Vita preceded the PS4 — then it might be able to make the link more sound and viable.

And the adversity with the Switch is that sometimes it’s plain the cartoon of whatever game you’re arena were advised with the console’s abate screen in mind. That makes it so much easier to play on the small screen, but sometimes the animate comes across as more a handheld with a dock than a proper animate — at least that’s the case for my Switch. Having a committed animate with a handheld link might allow Sony to have its graphical cake and eat it too.

If Sony did shift to cartridges based on the Switch’s acceptance and portability, it would be an odd turnaround given the company’s history with Nintendo. For those who don’t know, the two companies at one point advised to coact on a animate that could play both SNES cartridges and CDs. Needless to say, that accord fell through, and the “PlayStation” eventually became the company’s own disc-based console.

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