Sony's ambitious plans for the PlayStation 5 don't just include higher-end hardware, but also new innovations in its services framework. One of the most interesting advancements is a new feature that will allow gamers to create, edit, and share "gameplay slices" on the PS Network through its cloud infrastructure.
A new Sony patent has been making the rounds and lots of publications are reporting on it. You've probably seen headlines like "new patent will allow PS1, PS2, and PS3 games to play on PS5." The reality is that this original patent is rather old--it was filed in December 2013, a year before PlayStation Now launched, and claimed in 2012--and explicitly describes game streaming on PS Now. It's always been obvious PS Now would be supported on PS5 and that's always been a method for backward compatibility on the next-gen system. But it's the new updated portion of the patent that's most interesting, and it's the part that most websites simply didn't notice.
The update was published on June 10 and basically describes how legacy PS1, PS2, and PS3 games could support a revolutionary new gameplay sharing functionality that lets you create, edit, and share slices of your game as interactive and playable demos.
We've been covering this topic for a while, but we didn't know the extent of Sony's support. I originally thought only PS5 games would support this feature, or it would be created using the cloud. But now it looks gamers can cut up and share slices of old-school games on PlayStation Now as well.
The basic gist goes something like this: Instead of just watching video clips of gameplay, users can actually take control and play those clips. Sony even added a brand new Create button to the PS5's DualSense controller for this very feature.
In one embodiment, a method is provided for creating a playable limited version of a video game and executed by a user of a complete version of a video game. For each of a plurality of user-defined portions of a recorded game play of a user, for each of the user-defined portions; Continuous array of each of the playable portions of a video game to define a defined version of a video game based on user-defined portions, creation of a playable portion of a video game based on defined boundaries, and limited version of a video game.
[Fig. 4B] FIG. 4 b illustrates an interface for selecting a portion of a time line of a game play for creating a mini game or game slice, according to an embodiment of the present invention.
As outlined in various patents, the feature would basically let users create, edit, and share their own custom gameplay demos. Think of it as a kind of save-state sharing albeit in a limited format. A recent Sony patent filed this month described the feature as "cloud-based game slice generation and frictionless social sharing with instant play."
This poses all sorts of interesting possibilities. You could watch a streamer play a game, click a link, and instantly play that game with their character as you continue to watch the stream. Gamers could take control of other players' characters, complete with the other users' loadouts, weapons, etc. to tackle a specific part of the game.
Friends could share a custom demo clip of a boss fight and create challenges to see who beats the boss first. The same could be true for a race in a game like Gran Turismo 7.
If the entire PlayStation Now catalog gets support for this feature, it will be the single biggest advancement in cloud gaming we've seen to date. Yes, Google Stadia plans to roll out a similar feature, and Microsoft has mentioned "click-to-play" gaming, but neither have the sheer might of the PS4 infrastructure or the pull of legacy PlayStation games.
The idea of all legacy PS1, PS2, and PS3 games on the service supporting this kind of customized gameplay capture and sharing will generate a hotbed of engagement. This feature would add tremendous value to PS Now and probably drive up adoption and subscribers.
It'll also revolutionize gameplay tutorials because you can actually try the segment yourself, and it affords a massively unique opportunity for exposure. If everyone is creating game demos on the PS Network then games will get all sorts of attention and buzz without marketing teams having to do anything.
We've been covering this feature extensively, and here's more required reading on this epoch-shattering feature:
- New PS5 Sony patent allows frictionless game sharing with instant play
- Sony patent turns shared videos into playable game demos
- PlayStation game demos are coming back with Sony's ambitious new plan, and you'll be able to make and share your own creations
Also remember these are patents and the feature may not even show up on the PlayStation 5 or on PS Now. But we're betting it will be included as a major new push in Sony's next-gen roadmap of innovations. We could see an official announcement of the game demo creation feature during Sony's rumored State of Play event in August.
The PlayStation 5 releases Holiday 2020, but no pricing or exact release date has been announced. Check below for more information:
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 12-channel PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD with up to 9GB/sec speeds
- Two SKUs: Digital-only, and standard with a disc drive
- 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