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New PS5 feature could make playing games ‘as easy as Netflix’

Published Mar 25th, 2020 3:56PM EDT
PS5 release date
Image: Sony

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  • Following the PS5 deep dive last week, Sony hasn’t released any new information about the console.
  • A new patent from Sony Interactive Entertainment hints at a PS5 feature that will let players load directly into multiplayer matches and single-player levels from the home screen.
  • Sony reportedly wants playing games on PS5 to be “as easy as Netflix.”
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Last week’s PlayStation 5 system architecture deep dive was disappointing for a number of reasons, but chief among them was the fact that we didn’t actually get to see the next-gen console in action. Obviously, technical specifications and hardware innovations are important, but until we can actually see what the PS5 looks like when it is powered on and running games in real-time, none of the teraflops or gigahertz mean much to the average gamer.

Unfortunately, Sony has yet to offer up even a timetable for the rollout of information about the console, and so, in the meantime, we’re reduced to talking about leaks, rumors, and patents instead. The good news is that the latest patent to be discovered hints at an exciting upgrade to the user interface of the PS5 that will make it easier to jump straight from the main menu directly into a multiplayer match or a specific level of a game.

Spotted by Push Square earlier this week, a Sony Interactive Entertainment patent published this month describes a system that would all but eliminate the time it takes to load a game from the menu of the console by building elements of the game’s menus directly into the PS5’s operating system. This sounds a whole lot like what lead system architect Mark Cerny described in an interview with Wired last October:

Even though it will be fairly fast to boot games, we don’t want the player to have to boot the game, see what’s up, boot the game, see what’s up. Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real time. Single-player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them—and all of those choices will be visible in the UI. As a player you just jump right into whatever you like.

This is one of those changes that might not sound all that impressive on paper, but will end up saving PS5 owners endless hours of looking at a company’s logos and loading screens as they try to resume their game from where they left off or join an online match with their friends. Providing it works as the patent seems to suggest that it will, this may be the feature you miss the most when you boot up an older console in the years to come.

Adding to the excitement, Kotaku news editor Jason Schreier shared some insider knowledge about the feature in a thread on the ResetEra forum discussing the patent and its implications for the PS5:

I have heard some fascinating things about the PS5’s operating system like this – one of the pitches they’ve been making to developers is “playing a PS5 game should be as easy as Netflix.” They want to make players feel like they can load up the game immediately and know exactly how much time a given activity is going to take them. They want people to feel more inclined to play in short bursts rather than only wanting to turn on the console when they have a few hours to spare.

As underwhelming as the repurposed GDC talk that ending up serving as a PS5 reveal event was, these are the kind of features that will get people excited about the new console. The novel coronavirus pandemic has obviously forced companies to adjust their plans, but an actual PS5 reveal shouldn’t be too far away.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.