Sony PS5 may bring cartridges back to consoles — but it's not what you think

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

Cartridges could be coming back to the console gaming market with the Sony PS5. But not in the way you might expect.

LetsGoDigital has discovered a new Sony patent filing that describes PlayStation 5-exclusive solid-state drive (SSD) cartridges. Those cartridges, which were rendered in the image above from Sony's own patent drawings, point to the possibility of Sony building its own SSDs for the PS5. The renderings suggest the storage amounts could range from 1TB to 3TB, but there's no telling what Sony might offer when the PS5 launches.

More importantly, the SSD slot in the PS5 would be easily accessible, according to the report. That would suggest that PS5 users could ultimately choose which drives to put into the device at any time and keep multiple SSDs handy, so they don't need to remove games off their drives to make room for new ones.

Sony has already demonstrated the sheer speed of its SSD technology inside the PS5, which would deliver the biggest performance difference versus the PS4. We're talking about near-instantaneous load times for games. 

Better yet, if Sony offers the same PS5 with different storage options, players could pick up the cheaper model with less storage and then upgrade to more storage at a later date, helping them control when they decide to plunk down extra cash.

For Sony, the benefits are clear. The company can make a proprietary storage platform for its console that can still deliver fast, reliable performance. But it can also sell the SSDs separately and buyers can pick those up after they buy the console. Ultimately, that could translate to more hardware revenue opportunities over time for Sony.

Ultimately, it's unclear how Sony will go about rolling out its custom SSDs. Either way, look for the PS5 to deliver a more modular experience and for you to have the opportunity to remove features, like the storage drive, to accommodate your gaming practices.

Sony's PS5 is slated to hit store shelves next holiday season.

Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.