It looks like load times are going to be one of the primary battlefield for Sony and Microsoft to battle over with their next gaming consoles. Sony has patented a new technology that can remove loading screens from games.
The patent is titled ‘System and method for dynamically loading game software for smooth game play’. The central crux of the patent revolves around loading data well before the actual loading screens, bypassing those load screens completely.
The core technology of the patent allows a system to monitor the player character, and use information gained from this monitoring to figure out when the player’s going to reach a load screen, and load in the next set of data accordingly. Here’s the exact wording of the patent:
“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 game play is not interrupted.”
Back in May, Sony had shown off a demo of Marvel’s Spider-Man running on PlayStation 5 hardware, showing off the game’s load times on the more powerful hardware. In a video Tweeted out by Wall Street Journal’s Takashi Mochizuki, the load times were considerably faster on the PS5 than the PS4 Pro version of Spider-Man. According to Mochizuki, Sony used phrases such as “to ensure PlayStation will remain as the best place to play, SIE to work on keeping and improving relationships with outside game developers,” and “in explaining PlayStation’s seamless feature, the company used the phrase “anytime, anywhere, without disconnections””
Among other features of the PlayStation 5, Sony is also exploring cross-generation play, which would potentially allow backwards compatibility to the console with the PlayStation 4. The PlayStation 5 still hasn’t been officially revealed by Sony, but details are expected to come in as we get closer to the potential late-2020 or early-2021 release window.