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This might be Sony’s secret PS5 invention to keep the price down

Published Nov 12th, 2019 7:31AM EST

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Sporting a much faster processor and graphics card than its predecessor, as well as a much faster SSD drive, the PlayStation 5 should be significantly more expensive than the PS4, at least in theory. But Sony already teased that the PS5 might be cheaper than expected, with the PS5’s price being a key factor for upgrades. And, as we learned recently, Sony wants as many PS4 owners to upgrade to the next-gen console as fast as possible. A Sony-related discovery the other day suggested that Sony might be working on a brand new console, in addition to the PS5 that’s due next winter, a mysterious device that Sony hasn’t addressed so far. That was speculation, of course, given that Sony revealed plenty of details about the PS5 so far, but never discussed a more portable console. It turns out there might be a much better explanation for Sony’s latest invention, and it’s all related to the PS5. Specifically, the Sony cartridges we looked at the other day may be the clever solution for keeping the console’s price down.

The Dutch blog that discovered Sony’s cartridge patent posted the following renders that imagined what the device might actually be:

Image source: LetsGoDigital

That’s right, the device that LetsGoDigital imagined, using Sony’s own patent illustrations, is a PS5 SSD cartridge that would help Sony kill two birds with one stone.

First of all, Sony would be able to keep the PS5’s price down with the help of a smaller capacity SSD. Solid-state drives are a lot cheaper than they used to be, but they’re still an expensive upgrade. By placing a limited amount of default storage on 2020 PS5 units, say 500GB or 1TB, Sony would ensure that players have a decent amount of memory at their disposal, without breaking the bank.

SSD cartridges would also be a great way of allowing anyone to easily swap out an old SSD with a bigger-capacity model down the line. By making PlayStation storage modular, Sony would ensure that storage upgrades won’t require any complicated teardown procedures.

Not to mention that, by controlling SSD upgrades, Sony could make more money off of the PS5 down the line, and prevent unofficial SSD upgrades from potentially hindering PS5 gameplay experience. The PS5, after all, is rumored to deliver a custom Sony SSD solution.

This is still speculation, but LetsGoDigital reminds us that the innovation must be related to the PlayStation family of products, considering the invention belongs to an exec who worked on PlayStation products so far.

Image source: LetsGoDigital

Finally, there’s one other detail that suggests Sony might indeed be working on an easy PS5 storage upgrade for the console. Sony casually revealed a few weeks ago that the PS5 will let you install only the game content you want to play, whether it’s single-player or multiplayer support. The feature would make downloads and installs a lot faster, and would allow users to save storage space for other games, before having to consider swapping the SSD for a bigger one.

Sony is expected to unveil the PS5 in February, at which point it’ll probably explain these cartridges as well, assuming they’re indeed related to the PlayStation 5.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.