Sony PlayStation cartridge patent sparks handheld hope

It might be doing terribly on smartphones but Sony is, fortunately, doing well in most of its other businesses. Its PlayStation, under the Sony Interactive Entertainment company, remains one of the top two (or three) gaming systems in the world and it could get an infusion of new interest and profits with the expected launch of the PlayStation 5. That may not be the only thing that Sony is preparing for, however, as hints of a new gaming device may be on the way thanks to a patent for a gaming cartridge.

Sony and cartridges just don't mix well. Throughout the history of the PlayStation, it had mostly used optical discs unless games were downloaded directly to the console's storage. The one time it used cartridges was for the PlayStation Vita and those have been put to pasture already. With the Vita's retirement, however, went hopes that Sony would once again make a gaming handheld.

The success of the Nintendo Switch could be making it think twice, though some might argue that Sony might have a better chance of beating Nintendo in the mobile gaming market. Now a patent has popped up at the Brazilian patent office and the very sparse clues suggest it could be for some gaming device.

The first clue is that it was filed by Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), which handles the PlayStation business, and by the very same group that filed what was later revealed to be the PlayStation 5 Dev Kit. The patent also names Sony's Yujin Morisawa as the inventor, the exec in charge of PlayStation products.

Of course, a patent is really just that, a patent, but if it were to become a real product, it would be shocking if it didn't become part of Sony's gaming empire. Considering it would probably be backward for the PlayStation 5 to start using cartridges over Blu-rays, the only reasonable expectation would be some form of a handheld console, which will surely make some PS fans cautiously excited.