An interesting patent from Sony resurfaced recently, which appears to outline how the company intends on eliminating the nuisance of loading screens. A distinct philosophy Sony adopted to generate excitement for their next-generation console is the speed and fluidity of gameplay. This patent in particular showcases how the hardware manages large chunks of data from the game software. Once a player reaches an area in the game environment, the system loads in the next chunk of environmental data which has been reserved in the memory. In theory, it sounds very similar to the cavern sections in God of War, where Kratos and Atreus slowly squeeze through a tight corridor so the software loads in the next level zone.
However, this patent describes the hardware generating that function, not the software in particular. The patent describes the method as such, “A load boundary associated with a game environment is identified. A position of a character in the game environment is then monitored. Instructions corresponding to another game environment are loaded into a memory when the character crosses the load boundary, such that gameplay is not interrupted…” If this patent is practiced in reality, this would alleviate development time as the hardware handles the loading whereas the developers define the compartmentalization of data. As a result, developers could design their games without loading screens in mind and focus on creative level patterns.
On paper, this would sound like a bunch of scientific jargon to a layperson. In reality, creating a larger quantity of games lacking in long loading screens is a possibility. In addition to next-gen games running much quicker than previously, the PS5 could also achieve exponentially faster loading on PS4 games (and hopefully the other PlayStation consoles)as showcased in the leaked Spider-Man footage. Regardless if this patent comes in fruition, it is exciting to hypothesize on the possibilities nonetheless.
What do you think about this patent? Does it seem meaningless to patent an already used concept or would it be different as it’s hardware-dictated? Let’s discuss and debate in the comment section below and stay around for more news and information from Sick Critic!
News and feature writer for Sick Critic since 2017. Undergraduate studying English. Writes stories on: PlayStation news and analysis, general video game industry affairs, the film industry affairs, and the streaming wars.