Patent Hints at Possible PlayStation 3.5

PS3.5 PatentIt’s been recently revealed that back in August, Sony filed a patent for a new external processor unit which could conceivably be used with the PlayStation 3, possibly bumping up the system’s processing power, making it more akin to a PlayStation 3.5 than either a PS3 or PS4. In fact the patent went so far as to specify that multiple external processors could be used in tandem for truly dynamic power.

Of course, the mere fact that such a patent exists means very little, and could amount to nothing at all. It looks like Sony has (or at least had) some interest in bridging the gap to the PlayStation 4 though, which could indicate that the PlayStation 4 is not quite as close to release as we may think. It seems unlikely otherwise that Sony would go to the trouble of developing and releasing such a device if the PlayStation 4 were just around the corner, given it would take time for the device to catch on, and for developers to create games.

Can You Ever Have Too Much Power?

Another curious facet to this patent is that by all accounts, even current games are still not pushing the PS3 to its limits, or even close to its limits, which begs the question, why would developers need this power in the first place, and why would consumers need to spend more money on it? Let’s see developers tap every last ounce of processing power the PS3 can muster before we start worrying about finding more of said power.

It should be stated as well that the patent doesn’t specify the external processor as being for use with the PS3, so it could actually be that this device is being developed in tandem with the PS4. Sony could have designs on releasing a more streamlined machine initially that would lower costs and potentially give them a better start to the next console wars, with this being an ace in the sleeve if and when the PS4 can no longer handle the current game development of the day.

Relying on such a device to save the system at that time would be risky though, as such add-on devices have a history of failure in the gaming industry and usually fail to garner support from both consumers and developers.

What do you think? Will this external processor ever see the light of day? Will it be used with the PS3, the PS4, or both? And would you buy it? Let us know your thoughts on this interesting patent below.

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Current games not close to PS3 limit???

I heard many people said today games not even push to the PS3 limit. Wrong wrong wrong. You might be correct if you're talking about angry bird or some kind of mini games; many games has been push the system to the limit, COD, GT5, MGS... Why GT5 or Killzone looks way better than the other games? It is because the gaming engineer squeeze every little bite of the structure of the game into economic(system friendly) pieces which isn't normal. By doing that it require a lot more work by the games developers, however, the system has been push close to the limit by normal use(normal game development). A simple way to prove is, many people do have over-heat issue of couple hours of gaming, even the newest slim model, well the reason is the system was push to close to the limit and product a specific amount of heat. It might be possible for the game developer to push their game a little bit closer to the limit, however, it'll probably ends with over-heat issue and the PS3 won't be stable. Please face the fact that the PS3 was selling in public 6 years ago, it is the 7 or 8 years old video chip technology made by Nvidia, and it is really out dated when you compare with today's Nvidia's chips.

Sun, 01/09/2011 - 17:43 — Anonymous

(Many people do have over-heat issue of couple hours of gaming)..... dont think so. I have the old 80G and my fan has hit high maybe twice, and that was because it was hot as hell in my house. The only game that comes close to pushing the PS3 to the max is MAG.


Numerous game developers have said in the past that their games are not using the full power of the PS3 and specifically the CELL processor (and yes, we're talking major releases, not Angry Birds). I'll take their word over yours. Your comment about chips shows that you're totally ignorant of how consoles even work. Graphics processing is handled not just by the GPU, but by the CELL as well. In fact some games, like Uncharted 2, rely almost entirely on the CELL and barely use the GPU at all. So while the GPU itself may be old, the PS3 can still deliver graphics on a par with all but the highest end PC cards (and I'm talking the really high end cards, like $2,000 high). The PS3 is a single, synergistic unit that has one goal: to play games. This is true of all consoles, and why they're always greater than the sum of their parts in PC terms. And the PS3 has not been out 6 years, it's been out just over 4.

Ps3 Does have its limit - By Phensteel

Yes the Ps3 does have its limit as I recently played GT5 and the game was to demanding of power it killed my ps3 slim. It has Raw power but If they keep Trying to jam pack games for ps3 systems it will run as obsolete. so there in that fact Ps4 developement is probly still in the frame here as the exteral prossesor could in fact be utilised for the ps4 systems...not the first time this has been done ;)