Bottom line: Of course, a trademark alone doesn’t guarantee that we’ll see future systems inherit these names. Just like in the patent world, trademarks are often acquired simply to protect a product’s future or to ensure competitors won’t try and hijack the brand.

Sony is probably still a good year away from launching the successor to the PlayStation 4 but that isn’t stopping the company from looking far into the future.

Sony Interactive Entertainment has filed trademarks for the next several generations of its console gaming system – PlayStation 6 through PlayStation 10, to be exact. Given the current lifespan of game systems, these could theoretically serve as placeholders for the next few decades.

The trademarks also shouldn’t serve as any sort of indicator that Sony is working on hardware several generations into the future. The Japanese gaming giant is no doubt focusing all of its efforts on the upcoming PlayStation 5 and probably hasn’t even given any consideration to a PlayStation 6, much less beyond that.

Speaking of the PlayStation 5, we got our first look at an alleged PS5 dev kit earlier this month. The system looks more like a funky-shaped Alienware PC than a traditional game console but that’s par for the course with dev kits as few finished consoles ever hit the market looking anything like their prototypes.

Masthead credit: PS4 controllers by Djordje Novakov