Unlike the PS4 and Xbox One, both of which were running on arguably outdated hardware even when they launched, the PS5 and Xbox Series X are looking like impressive pieces of machinery, both in different ways. The need for enhanced consoles for both of them doesn’t seem as pressing as it did for their predecessors, but nonetheless, there have been plenty of questions about whether that’s something Sony and Microsoft are working on.
If a newly published patent by Sony is anything to go by, it seems they’re at least thinking about it. The patent talks about a “multi-GPU simulation environment”. While the patent itself seems to be focused on cloud streaming – which is likely referring to PlayStation Now – it does make mention of a scalable design that could be tailored for working with what’s described as a “high-end” device.
One paragraph of the patent in particular clearly mentions hypothetical “light” and “high-end” versions of a console. It reads, “SoC technology can be applied to video simulation consoles such as game consoles, and in particular a single SoC may be provided for a “light” version of the console while plural SoCs may be used to provide a “high-end” version of the console with greater processing and storage capability than the “light” version. The “high end” system can also contain more memory such as random-access memory (RAM) and other features and may also be used for a cloud-optimized version using the same game console chip with more performance.”
As is the case with any patent, there’s no guarantees that this will materialize as something tangible, since companies often file patents to protect ideas and technology more than anything else. It does, however, signify that a high-end version of the PS5 is something that Sony have at least considered and might be preparing for, should the need for it arise.