The rumour mill may be buzzing with news of the forthcoming PS5 and all the amazing games sure to accompany it, but it's not the only gaming project Sony is reportedly working on. A new leak reveals Sony Interactive Entertainment has filed a patent for a new, yet familiar-looking hardware format – a games cartridge.
Reported by Dutch news outlet LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab), the leak shows the document filed with Brazilian patent office INPI. The document shows a thick, GameBoy-style cartridge with an indented space on the face of the casing, presumably for the label.
The product's designer is listed as Yujin Morisawa, senior art director for Sony Interactive Entertainment and the man personally responsible for all PlayStation products. It's this detail which means the cartridge could be destined for a new PlayStation product, perhaps a successor to the PS Vita.
The PS Vita, which improved on the PSP's design with two analogue sticks and an OLED screen, used small physical cartridges. But production of the console ended earlier this year with no successor announced, leading many to believe Sony is taking its handhelds in a new direction, giving real weight to those rumours of a 5G PSP reported by T3 last year.
While Sony was burned by the PS Vita, especially in comparison to the enormous success of the Nintendo Switch, its commitment to the "immense potential" of 5G technology means an updated PSP connected to the cloud could soon become a reality. Stream the best PS5 games and movies wherever you go, anywhere in the world? Sign us up.
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However, it's equally possible this cartridge is just for a revamped product such as the Sony Toio. Another brainchild of Morisawa, the Toio is a hands-on 'toy platform' rather than a console in its own right, that allows children to build and control constructs with an innovative ring-shaped controller. The introduction of cartridges could provide additional gaming software, delivering new ways for children to play.
A third possibility is that the PlayStation team are simply testing different hardware, and the cartridge will never be released in any capacity. But amongst all these frantic PS5 leaks ahead of its planned early 2020 reveal, news of a different gaming format almost feels refreshing.