Sony's latest patent further hints at unique save-state sharing functionalities on the PlayStation Network, which should allow gamers to create and share their own custom slices of gameplay.
Sony's PlayStation 5 may usher in a new evolution of the PSN service ecosystem. We've uncovered multiple patents that hint at transformative features similar to Google's Stadia platform and Microsoft's Project xCloud. If these patents coalesce, gamers will be able to capture, create, edit and share custom game demos. Think of it as not only watching a game clip, but being able to play it too.
The latest Sony patent, which was filed in June and published this month, specifically mentions instant play. The patent is built on a simple premise: "cloud-based game slice generation and frictionless social sharing with instant play." This tells us everything we need to know. It's clear Sony wants to emulate Stadia's unique save-state sharing feature with instant click-to-play access. Microsoft is also doing something similar with Project xCloud.
We've predicted that this new functionality will be a big part of the PlayStation 5 controller's new Create button.
In one embodiment as illustrated in FIG. 2, the game manager module 312 identifies the various games that are popular or highly rated within the game network/social network and generates the GUI with the identified games organized in a ranking order of popularity. In one embodiment, the games/game slices returned in the GUI are organized into categories. FIG. 2 illustrates a sampling of the various categories into which the games are organized by the ranker module 312- a within the game manager 312.
Here's how it'll work:
The PlayStation Network will have a special section with clickable videos that are both watchable and playable via cloud streaming. We're not sure if the streamable gameplay is exclusively available on the PlayStation Now service, but it's possible. Gamers can select a video, watch it, or click another button to actually play.
You'll be able to play that specific sequence with that player's loadout, skills, progression, etc, whether it be a boss fight or a specific challenge segment.
Creators can select a starting point and an ending point for their shareable game demo (referred to as a "game slice" in the patent) and then upload it to the PlayStation Network. They may also be able to share links via PSN messaging with friends to provide instant access.
We've already cataloged how this feature will work in other pieces of coverage which are based on previously-released patents so be sure to check those out. All of these patents are connected and will work together:
- PlayStation 5's SSD may revolutionize save states with instant launch
- Sony patent turns shared videos into playable game demos
- PlayStation game demos are coming back with Sony's ambitious new plan
FIG. 6 illustrates flow chart operation of an alternate method for processing game slices over a cloud game network, in another embodiment of the invention. The method begins at operation 610, wherein a plurality of games is retrieved and returned for rendering on a display of a client device, in response to a request for accessing games received from the client device. The games are presented on graphical user interface (GUI) at the client device.
The games include a plurality of game slices. Each game slice is a portion of the game that is less than the entire part of the game and is defined by a user. Passive selection activity is detected proximate to an initial image of a selected one of the games at the GUI, as illustrated in operation 620.
The passive selection activity causes the server to retrieve and present a primary video segment for one of the plurality of game slices associated with the selected game for rendering at the display of the client device. During the rendering of the primary video segment, active selection activity is detected for the primary video segment, as illustrated in operation 630.
Sony has yet to announce this major groundbreaking feature, and bear in mind this patent may not actually lead to anything. Patents are filed all the time that never actually lead to products or services. But given the frequency and depth of these patents, we think it'll show up either on the PlayStation 5 or on PlayStation Now--or both.