Nintendo Switch killer cometh? Sony patents new game cartridge tech

Sony, the company that created the compact disc and steered the gaming world away from cartridges to its format, is working on a new cartridge format for storing video games. Spotted first by German technology outlet TechTastic, Sony has already patented the new storage format.

The patent went through official channels in South Korea last year and was published by the Korea Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS) earlier this month. Sony’s filing includes very little information on the product itself, but plenty of imagery that’s quite telling.

The patent application is blatantly titled “Electronic Game Cartridge” and depicts something that looks like a cross between a classic PlayStation memory card and a Nintendo Switch game cartridge. We’re not sure what the hole cut out toward its top is for, and that connection port seems awfully proprietary.

Honestly, the port is confusing, as this is assumed to be a video game storage format. Every cartridge product used the store game data within the past several years has been metal contact-based, like with SD cards. This port suggests a different method of transmitting data, almost looking like HDMI or the classic 40-pin iPhone port.

Sony electronic game cartridge

Image credit: TechTastic

Connecting the dots

The release of this patent is far too specific and pointed to not inspire connections made between it and a previously-released Sony patent. Back in early 2017, the company published a patent for a handheld game console that looked awfully similar to the Nintendo Switch.

Now, we see a patent for a video game storage format, one that’s solid state and therefore can take a tumble, which is ideal for a portable console.

Plus, while we joke about the seemingly backwards nature of Sony’s decision to create a new cartridge-based game storage medium, it’s not as if Sony is new to the pursuit. The ill-fated PlayStation Vita employed flash-based media for its games.

There’s no way of knowing whether Sony intends to act on these patents, but it sure seems like the company has spent considerable time and money at least investigating the possibility of re-entering the handheld gaming arena with Nintendo. After all, it’s the only competition Sony really has in the market at this point.

Here’s to hoping that Sony’s thirst for revenge drives it to develop another boss handheld gaming console, because the Vita was actually pretty fantastic where it counted.

Via Tom's Guide

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