Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Sony patents new memory card, only $49 per GB!

Kidding about the price! But Sony has form for screwing over fans every chance it gets. It also continues to keep teasing new technology that would only make sense in a portable or hybrid capacity.

Update: Or not, its actually for the Toio gadget thing that Sony only sells in Japan. Quite why the patent only came to light now is part of the random madness of the Internet.

The PS4 doesn't need memory cards or cartridges, I have a 2TB external drive that attests to that. However, the PS5 might need a way to send lots of data between the main console and an on-the-go device, without resorting to slow mobile cloud speeds, until 5G is everywhere in about 2024.

As found by Dutch site Techtastic, a recently published document on the South Korean patent board, the patent shows various images (PDF) with what looks suspiciously like a proprietary port (doesn't seem like a USB C) to prevent people connecting them to PCs and hacking the data. Hey, it wouldn't be Sony if they screwed this up somehow!

Another image shows a hole behind the upper cap, likely so it can tied to a keychain or strap for portability. Otherwise your guess is as good as mine, as Sony struggles to find a valid reason for gamers to upgrade from the top-selling PS4 to whatever comes next. But since its called a "game cartridge", Sony won't need them unless it has something smaller than PS5 Blu-ray titles in mind. Also, this could act as a way to keep retail stores sweet for the next generation as physical disc sales continue to fall.

If I had to guess, that touchscreen controller or a dedicated remote play device has a slot for this card/cartridge. Players buy the PS5 game and a mini-version (without 4K textures etc) of the data is copied to the cartridge, plus save data is stored automatically. Then if they want to go portable, off they trot on their HD device.

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