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What This Possible Sony Leak Could Mean For Single Player Games

If you recently brought a PlayStation 5 into your home, you're likely enjoying the many new features it has to offer. One such feature is "Activities," which allows gamers to immediately jump into a game without having to go through all the common title cards and loading steps. According to a recent leak, this feature could have broader implications than fans realize.

Internal documents were shared with Vice that offered some insight into Sony's motivation to put such an emphasis on this feature. These documents revealed that even though sales would suggest multiplayer games have nudged single-player titles out of the spotlight, Sony's data pointed to the opposite conclusion. According to the article on Vice, "PlayStation users are regularly spending more time playing offline than online." Why, then, are the top-selling PS4 games mostly titles with heavy multiplayer modes?

According to surveys conducted by Sony, much of the hesitation surrounding games with a strong single-player focus is credited to time and commitment. Factors like busy lifestyles, spoilers, picking back up where one left off, and lengthy tutorial videos all combined to make multiplayer a more feasible option for gamers. As such, the user experience for the PS5 was designed to give players a more accessible single-player experience that accommodates busier schedules.

What's interesting is that there was a part in the presentation that encouraged developers to consider how they structure Activities within their games. With that said, Activities could potentially change the way single-player stories are told in video games. Campaigns could be optimized for this newer pick-up-and-play approach, offering a more casual means of playing through story modes. Therefore, consumers may also see more of an emphasis from developers on single-player in the future.

There's been a shift over the last decade in the way people consume media. With so many streaming services available, consumers can watch whatever they want at any time, leaving off at any point to watch something else. They can then return where they left off without a hitch. This on-demand style of watching shows could also be the future of gaming. People are already able to play PS5 games as easily as if they were watching Netflix, so there's a good chance this could become more prominent in the future. 

Nintendo is next up in the new console generation, and perhaps gamers will see something similar in the rumored Nintendo Switch Pro. After all, Sony took a page out of Nintendo's book with its approach to haptic feedback, so it only makes sense that Nintendo may look to Sony in this case.