Sony Interactive Entertainment, the company behind the popular PlayStation gaming consoles, has recently filed a patent that shares similarities with the data storage method used in the PlayStation Portable (PSP). The patent has further sparked rumors and speculation about the potential development of a new PlayStation handheld device.

The patent, titled “ROM Medium and Auxiliary Storage Management for Application Software and Additional Content,” outlines a method for handling application software and additional content files. The system uses a read-only-memory (ROM) medium, a media drive, and an auxiliary storage device to manage the transfer and storage of data. The patent process started back in 2019 and was granted to Sony Interactive Entertainment in August 2022.

While the patent does not explicitly mention the PSP or its Universal Media Disc (UMD) format, the described method bears a resemblance to how the PSP handles game data and additional content from both physical media and online sources.

The PSP uses UMDs as its physical media format, which are mounted on a media drive. The patent describes copying application software and additional content from the ROM medium to an auxiliary storage device, which in the PSP’s case could be its internal storage or a memory stick. This leads us to believe that a similar method of storage could be used in the next PlayStation Handheld device.

The patent seems to address a technical problem related to the distribution and access of additional content for game software, which previously relied solely on content servers delivering the content via the Internet. The patent aims to provide an alternative mechanism for delivering additional content to users.

The solution proposed in the patent involves an information processing apparatus that includes a drive device and a recording processing section. The drive device can mount a recording medium, such as an optical disc, containing both the application software file and the additional content file. The recording processing section copies the files from the recording medium to an auxiliary storage device.

The method of copying involves two steps:

  1. Reading and copying the additional content file from the recording medium to the auxiliary storage device.
  2. Reading and copying the application software file from the recording medium to the auxiliary storage device.

This solution offers an alternative way to deliver and access additional content in the form of a physical medium, such as an optical disc, rather than relying solely on internet-based content servers.

Given the similarities between this patent and the PSP’s data storage method, it is possible that this patent could be related to a new PlayStation handheld device, as previously discussed. The patent’s focus on providing an alternative mechanism for delivering additional content might suggest that Sony is considering a more versatile approach to content delivery and access in their potential next-generation handheld device. This would allow users to access and enjoy additional content through both physical media and digital downloads, catering to different user preferences and connectivity scenarios.

With the gaming industry’s growing focus on cloud gaming and digital downloads, the patent could signal Sony’s intention to develop a versatile handheld console that supports both physical media and digital content.

While no official announcement has been made regarding a new PlayStation handheld, the recently filed patent has certainly piqued the interest of gamers and industry insiders alike. As rumors continue to swirl, we eagerly await any news about the potential return of a Sony handheld gaming device to compete with Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck.

If this patent is linked to the new handheld, it is safe to speculate that the next PlayStation handheld might be more than a Cloud Streaming Device, contrary to earlier reports.

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