Sony Files Patent For Playing Games in “Chunks”

Sony Files for a new patent that would allow players to play games in “application chunks” while waiting for the full download.

By DShelley, Posted 08 Jan 2024

Sony definitely seems to be on a patent rush, as the company has filed yet another interesting new patent. Sony has just recently revealed that they have patented something called “ACCELERATED APPLICATION START USING ESTIMATED PLAY DURATION”. This patent was published last week but was first filed in August 2023 and seems to indicate that the company is working on a new system that would enhance the speed of video game start-up by letting players play through a small portion of the game while the rest is downloading.

This new patent, while incredibly interesting, is also nothing new. In the past, we have seen something similar implemented in games called “preloading” and much like Sony's patent, allows players to play specific segments of the game before the rest of the game has finished downloading. Sadly, the use of “preloading” fell out of favor due to it requiring at least some part of the game be already downloaded and playable and led to many players not having a good time playing the games that featured “preloading”.

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However, it would seem that this new patent will attempt to learn from past mistakes and will introduce a brand-new approach to the feature that will drastically change the way a game downloads and installs. The biggest change to this feature is what is known as “application chunks”, these are specific parts of the game that have been broken down into separate chunks and will be downloaded independently of each other. The main difference between this new method and “preloading” is how the playtime information is integrated into each downloadable chunk.

Whenever a player decides to initiate the download and installation process, the system will receive information about a specific game's application chunks from the player. Each of the chunks will have its own designated playtime information which shows the estimated time it takes for players to reach a chosen state or landmark. This new patent does line up with another patent that Sony filed in the past, and both do seem to rely on segments of games.

This brand-new departure of the traditional installation method will not only increase player engagement with the game, but will also allow them to interact with whatever game they're playing in a far more dynamic way. As exciting as everything is, patents are just patents and they often tend to not yield into actual products as we've yet to see Sony's other patent manifest either. This could mean there are new features being added to the PS6 but it is too early to say.

Daman Shelley (@UndeadandTired)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PS4, PS3, Vita
Publisher(s): SONY
Developer(s): Sony Interactive Entertainment
Genres: N/A
Themes: N/A
Release Date: 2020

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