What if consoles could let you suspend and resume a custom save state? Sony's PlayStation 5 might actually revolutionize how save states are handled.
A recently published Sony patent could hint at a new era of save states, customization, and overall user control on the PlayStation 5. The new feature is kind of like the Xbox Series X's Quick Resume functionality with a twist: Instead of the OS automatically bookmarking the segment you last played, you can actually set the save states yourself.
The patent, which is titled Dynamic Interfaces For Launching Direct Gameplay, refers to the save states as "templates" and basically outlines a new kind of save that's not just limited to gameplay. Users can set the console to boot to a multiplayer menu, for example, or directly into the last-played game segment that's been marked. Imagine being able to boot up right into a boss fight without having to run through the entire level again, or get another try at a tough puzzle.
The patent covers a lot of bases and the idea has a wide variety of potential. The most interesting one, though, is being able to automatically store a save of a specific game segment on your SSD that can be accessed for later use. The spectrum of potential use cases also includes PlayStation Network and PlayStation Now, and isn't just limited to offline play.
This specific patent seems very closely related to that extremely innovative demo patent that Sony filed a bit ago. This new feature would dramatically evolve PS Network services alongside the PS5's launch.
That previous demo patent basically allows users to create their own slices of gameplay demos and share and upload them to the PlayStation Network. The idea is to give users the ability to record interactive gameplay sequences that can be played by others online. You'd be playing someone else's character, in someone else's playthrough. It'd be a literal replay in every sense of the word.
This new interface would almost assuredly tie into the demo infrastructure. The interface would simply be the gateway to the content and lay it out in an expansive UI for gamers to launch, create, and share their saves--or templates--with others.
A system for directly launching interactive content, the system comprising:
a network interface that establishes a session with a user device over a communication network, wherein a set of templates is provided to the user device in the session, each template defining a different activity within an interactive content title and linking to a starting point of the corresponding defined activity within the interactive content title;
and a processor that executes instructions stored in memory, wherein execution of the instructions by the processor identifies the activity defined by the selected template, the identified activity associated with an identified interactive content title, and and launches the identified activity within the interactive content title at the starting point linked to by the selected template.
A non-transitory computer-readable medium having embodied thereon a program executable by a processor to perform a method for directly launching interactive content, the method comprising:
establishing a session with a user device, wherein a set of templates is provided to the user device in the session, each template defining a different activity within an interactive content title and linking to a starting point of the corresponding defined activity within the interactive content title;
receiving a selection from the user device specifying one of the provided set of templates; identifying the activity defined by selected template, the identified activity associated with an identified interactive content title;
and launching the identified activity within the interactive content title at the starting point linked to by the selected template.
Read Also: Understanding the PS5's SSD: A deep dive into next-gen storage tech
We know something like this is absolutely possible on the PlayStation 5's powerful 825GB PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD.
The new solid state drive can stream data to other system components at up to 5.5GB/sec, meaning load times will be instantaneous thanks to massively accelerated asset delivery. The SSD sports a custom 12-channel flash memory controller and a custom I/O block with hardware-based decompression built right into the silicon, allowing for streamlined and ultra-fast compression/decompression of textures, files, and data across the 256-bit bus with its 448GB/sec memory bandwidth to the 16GB GDDR6 RAM.
Developers also have more control how data is stored (via compression), how it's processed (via the new ultra-fast delivery pipeline manifested by the I/O stack and synergized hardware), and how it's overall managed (via potent and easy-to-use OS capabilities).
With this kind of power and the flexibility of the OS architectures that underpin it, the PlayStation 5 could very well offer this kind of feature. I expect this to tie into Sony's own advanced Quick Resume functionality but to push it even farther thanks to the PS5's faster SSD--and to make it more dynamic via PSN integration.
One thing to remember with patents is that it's all theoretical. There's no confirmation Sony will use any of this. It's also worth noting the patent was filed in September 2018, and only just now published on March 2020.
The PS5 will release in Holiday 2020, and it may cost $499.
Check below for more info on everything we know about the PlayStation 5 so far:
PlayStation 5 specs and details:
- Custom SoC with second-gen Navi GPU, Zen 2 CPU
- 8-Core, 16-thread Zen 2 CPU at 3.5GHz
- Navi 2X GPU with 36 CUs on RDNA 2 at 2.23GHz
- Ultra-fast 825GB SSD with up to 9GB/sec speeds
- Support for 4K 120 Hz TVs
- Ray-tracing enabled
- 8K output support (for gaming)
- Plays PS4 games, BC is on a title-to-title basis
- Separate games that ship on BD-XL Blu-ray discs
- New controller with extensive haptic and tactile feedback
PlayStation 5 Coverage:
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- PlayStation 5: Everything We Know So Far
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- PS4 will be supported into 2022, to live alongside PS5
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