The discovery of a new game cartridge patent has added fuel to the rumours that Sony may well be considering a new PlayStation Portable console to rival the Nintendo Switch.

Rumours of a potential new PSP started to appear earlier this year after comments made by Sony during an annual financial report. The report included a statement in which Sony explained its reasoning behind staying in the smartphone market, with a focus on 5G technology (with which all portable devices can be connected to the cloud) standing out as its main focus. The statement said that Sony is "aiming to develop 5G technology as a competency that can be used across the Sony Group".

Sony's new cartridge patent
Sony's new cartridge patent

With 5G intended to be utilised "across the Sony Group", eyes naturally fell on Sony's portable gaming efforts. If a PSP featured 5G technology, Sony theoretically wouldn't have to worry about internal power and processing, and could instead stream top-tier PS4 games such as God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 onto the portable device.

So, about this new patent. As originally discovered by TechTastic, the new type of cartridge sort of resembles the PS Vita cartridges of days gone by and could, therefore, seemingly be used in a theoretical, new Sony handheld. Exciting, right? Not quite.

Screenshot 2018 11 29 At 09.23.24

Our pals at Push Square have done some digging and discovered that it was actually used in the Sony Toio – a children's toy which was released back in 2017 – that's a photo of it up there.

While it's certainly true that the Switch has been something of a game-changer and may well have convinced some within Sony that handhelds aren't a dead end after all, it's unlikely that this particular patent holds the key to a new PlayStation Portable.

Do you think Sony would be wise to launch a new handheld system to rival Switch in the future? Share your thoughts with us below.

[via t3.com, techtastic.nl, pushsquare.com]