Gamers of a certain age will remember their original PlayStation memory cards with fondness. The external cartridges contained all the data of your saved games, acting as a physical record of your progress. Of course, if your mate had the same game, you could swap their memory card for yours and spoil them silly with all the features they hadn't unlocked yet.
Although it's a fun nostalgia trip to reminisce, Sony looks set to bring the classic-style memory card back for future consoles in the form of an external solid state drive.
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We originally reported last week that Sony had filed a patent for a cartridge, with the potential of including it in the design for either a new 5G PSP or the PlayStation 5. However, Dutch outlet LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab) reports that Sony has added more information to the patent originally filed with the Japan Patent Office, including a description of the device.
The description of the cartridge reads: '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.'
The key word there is "games console", confirming its use for one of Sony's PlayStation products. Memory has come a long way since the days of PS1 and PS2, and external solid state drives of a similar size as traditional memory cards might hold several terabytes of data these days, as much or more than the internal memory of most consoles.
Of course, with bigger and more advanced games come larger storage needs. As the industry moves away from physical discs while games get bigger, removable solid state drives could become the future of gaming, storing multiple games on a single memory card.
The cartridge might also be designed for mobile gaming purposes on a new, 5G PSP, but as PlayStation looks set to ramp up its PlayStation 5 outlook as it creeps closer to launch, it makes sense to attribute the new memory card to the PS5. It could even be absent from launch, compatible only with the inevitable PS5 Slim, Pro or other variants. The technology could also still be highly experimental, or might never be seen at all.
However, it's great fun to speculate. We'll have more details on all things PS5 as we creep closer to Sony's upcoming 2020 reveal.