Charging live screenless gameplay to the PlayStation has been Sony’s ambition for a while, and maybe it’s finally getting closer to finally implementing it in its consoles. According to TechRadar, Sony recently filed a patent that will allow gamers to completely skip loading screens and navigate menus, because we should no longer be patient and wait for things. The patent, which was published by USPTO, details the use of the “models” defined by a player to start a game as they wish, such as instantly jumping into a multiplayer game without having to wait to correspond with a team, resuming a recorded game without having to select “resume part “,” or instantly switch between games.
It’s a bit like the old days of console gaming, before the invention of a save function; you had to pause your game and leave your console on if you wanted to resume where you left off. That’s the idea behind live gameplay, jumping straight to where you left off, but it involves a much more complex system of networks and cloud servers – and you can turn off your console while the game is “paused” elsewhere. .
“The user can select the model, which can then launch the activity associated with the model […] Each model can be updated, modified or deleted, or new models can be created ”, explains Sony in its patent. It seems that the player will have to define these models for each game he owns, if he wishes. I don’t see a lot of benefits in defining a model for a game like Overwatch, because I don’t play the same game mode every time I launch the game, but a solo game like Life is strange? Yes. Take me to where I left off.
It is also unclear whether these models will only work when you launch a game or whether they will also work in the game. For example, I just finished a competitive match in Overwatch; will this instantly launch me into a new game at the end of the match, or will the template I created allow me to select “no” and return to the main menu?
In its patent, Sony also describes the use of cloud servers as a possible means of implementing direct gameplay. It wouldn’t be like a game in the cloud, because your games would still be saved to your PlayStation. In the current state of cloud gaming platforms, like Google Stadia and GeForce Now, you can pick up where you left off on any supported device, but you still need to go through the menu to launch the game and wait for it to load, which depends on your Internet connection.
One of the great of Sony promises with his PS5 is that installing or updating games will be much more instant due to its custom SSD which it says has read speeds of up to 5.5 GB / s. But a fast SSD doesn’t remove load times, which is why Sony is still exploring this live gaming option – and it seems much more possible now that cloud gaming is one thing. But it seems unlikely that we will see direct gameplay at the launch of the PS5, so for now, this is still just a promise.