A new patent from Sony Interactive Entertainment could hint at dedicated AI processors in future PlayStation consoles.
Sony has filed an interesting patent (US20230405461) that may rely on AI tech in order to operate. The patent is for a robust "predictive assistance" solution that leverages artificial intelligence to study play patterns through a predictive lens, and then react accordingly, providing tips to players when needed.
For example, if a player is trying to beat a boss but repeatedly fails, the patented tech would give the user an on-screen hint on how to defeat the enemy. Sony already has something similar to this with the PS5's Game Help feature, but that isn't reactionary and is instead a series of static Wiki-style tips and tricks. Sony's patent would be more dynamic, smart, and highly conditional by contrast.
In one embodiment, the patent would collect player telemetry data based on how they play, and use that data to build a player characteristics profile. This profile model could be analyzed by a special AI processor built right into the hardware--in this case, a theoretical PlayStation console.
It's also worth mentioning that cloud servers are referred to many times in the patent, so the AI processing may not be dedicated, hardware-based chips found in new PlayStations.
"Over time, different types of inputs and the game contexts can be classified to build a profile model that is descriptive of the user's game tendencies and potential weaknesses.
"Using the profile model, during a current gameplay, one or more processors, such as an artificial intelligence processor, can predict where the user is intending to navigate or achieve in a specific context.
"If the user is attempting a game input or a combination of inputs for a specific context in which the player is weakened, the one or more processors can provide assistance to the user in the form of suggestions for button inputs or tactics for the specific context."
The patent gets even more interesting. The tips and tricks wouldn't just show up on the screen, but could also show up on the controller's face as well. This of course hints at a PlayStation controller with an actual display screen, specifically where the Dualsense's touchpad currently is.
It's possible that this patent will somehow tie into the extremely interesting game jump patents that Sony has previously filed.
We could also see Sony add a dedicated AI processor, potentially a neural processing unit (NPU), into its next-gen PlayStation 6 console in an effort to unlock new levels of engagement across the console ecosystem.
Recent reports indicated that Sony is working on its own dedicated raytracing solution for the PlayStation 5 Pro, however no official PS5 Pro details have been announced.
Other rumors say that Microsoft has chosen to build its next-gen Xbox console with AI in mind, and that the system could also leverage its own specialized NPU for AI-specific processing tasks.