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The truth about PS5's game planning feature

Sometimes a game can take you way longer to complete than you had expected. This is especially true in games series like Final Fantasy and Fallout, where side quests and leveling up your character can take up a great deal of a player's time. With a new console generation on the way and games like Cyberpunk 2077 poised to be massively time-consuming, it may be the right time to start thinking seriously about time management when it comes to playing video games.

It appears as though Sony is way ahead of gamers there, as the company has just filed a patent for a feature designed to do just that. This patent is for an "in-game information platform." Much like Cortana or Siri, this platform is meant to operate as a kind of virtual assistant for PlayStation 5 owners.

More specifically, as stated in the document itself, the proposed feature "relates generally to video games, and more particularly, two methods and systems for providing timing information such as estimated times for completion and bonus content to players."

In other words, this patent is for a feature that will tell you things like how long a certain activity in a game will take. An example in  in the patent shows an illustration of someone playing video game and a text box from the system that says, "It will take you about 45 minutes to complete this level. A show you watch is airing in 30 minutes. Do you wish to continue or would you rather try another objective or game that takes less than 30 minutes?"

The proposed in-game information platform would theoretically accomplish this by monitoring the user's gaming habits and skills. By accessing the user's gamer profile and "effectiveness record," the system can determine how likely the player would be to accomplish a given task in a certain length of time. This is just the latest in a series of features touted by the PlayStation 5 that seem designed to integrate fully into the rest of a gamer's daily life. 

Last month, a Sony patent surfaced online for a robot sidekick that could be meant to go with the PlayStation 5. In theory, this little guy would not only watch you play games and movies (and react accordingly), but he'd also attempt to give you helpful reminders. For instance, it was suggested that the robot could monitor your gameplay hours and suggest a good bedtime for you. It seems like Sony is very concerned with gamers keeping a set schedule for their gaming habits.

In fact, the last few pages of the in-game information platform patent appears to go hand-in-hand with the features touted by the "PlayStation Assist" patent that was revealed last fall. Using this feature, gamers could immediately pull up walkthroughs and other helpful guides when they found themselves stuck in a game. PlayStation Assist could also theoretically give gamers straightforward advice, telling them which weapons or items are more useful in a particular situation. This feature would be voice-activated, meaning that it wouldn't necessarily always be running or backseat gaming while you're trying to conquer Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order's insane boss fights.

One illustration shows an artist's interpretation of a scene from God of War. In this scenario, it appears as though the player is having difficulties with using a particular weapon in the game. The text box on the screen recommends a combination of attacks that would better suit the battle at hand. It even offers to show the player a demonstration of the recommended tactic. 

It seems as though Sony is combining some of the concepts we have seen leaked in the past, which makes sense. This newly proposed version of the in-game information platform would seem to serve multiple purposes as once, rather than simply being for tips and tricks. 

Between this new information platform and Xbox's plans to reduce the file sizes of new games using compression technology, it appears that next gen consoles are putting a heavy emphasis on streamlining the gaming experience. Both of these concepts could go a long way toward reducing stress and helping gamers with time management. 

Hopefully gamers won't have to wait too long to try these features out for themselves. The PlayStation 5 is still supposedly on track to release this holiday season. In addition, it has been reported that Official PlayStation Magazine will be showing off a full look at the PS5 in its June issue. Perhaps that will include a look at this new in-game information platform in action.