August 2, 2019
As video games become more complex and contain increasingly large amounts of data, developers are faced with the challenge of ensuring players receive a fluid experience, without loading delays. A recent Sony patent continuation (of a previously filed patent from 2014) granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office presents an exciting opportunity to completely eliminate loading times.
Sony’s technology is described in the patent continuation application as being a “system and method for dynamically loading game software for smooth play”. Specifically, the software tracks a player’s movement through their environment and divides various game environments into different segments to enable smooth loading transitions. Commentators have noted that the technology has the potential to enable gamers to “smoothly move to any in-game area without having the game pause to boot up another map”.
The patent continuation aligns Sony with its competitors, as games from other developers, including God of War and Breath of Wild, already use similar transition technology. While there is no specific mention of the Play Station 5 (“PS5”) in the actual patent application, it appears possible that this technology will be integrated into the PS5. The PS5 is expected to be released in 2020, and the elimination of loading times could pay significant dividends for Sony.
Authors: Sarah Stothart and Andrew Patel