It appears that the success of the Nintendo Switch has Sony looking at getting back into the handheld market, or at least investigating the pros of moving back to cartridge-based games.
A German tech outlet, Techtastic, has discovered a new cartridge patent brought forward by Sony and published by the Korea Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS) earlier this month. There is almost no information on the product itself, only diagrams and pictures of what they aptly titled an “Electronic Game Cartridge”. If the pictures are accurate, the cartridges will fill the gap between somewhere between their old classic PlayStation memory cards and the cartridges introduced by the Nintendo Switch.
The difference appears to be where most former cartridges had a metal contact-base, this looks more similar to an HDMI port. When combining this with the former patent brought forward by Sony in early 2017 for a handheld console (a “central screen unit with pronged controller grips“), it looks like they might now be chasing the market Nintendo has dominated for years. After the Vita failed to hit the numbers that were expected, Sony stepped away from handheld devices. When asked whether they would consider wading back in Shuhei Yoshida, Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide’s boss, said that smart phones have made the handheld market a dangerous one.
Have they changed their mind? We’ll have to wait and see, but considering what Sony did for the compact disc, Nintendo might have a real contender on their hands if Sony decides to enter the mobile arena again.