Next gen’s charge against loading screens continues.
A huge focus for both Sony and Microsoft with their next generation consoles has been how they plan on entirely removing – or at least minimizing – load times in video games. Part of that relies on the inclusion of an SSD in both the PS5 and the Xbox Scarlett, but it looks like Sony is also thinking of other techniques that can be employed to cut down on load times and screens.
Sony have filed a new patent that talks about a method that will require no loading screens within games. The patent talks about essentially divvying up a game’s map into multiple sections. When a player is in one section of the map, all the adjacent sections of the game’s world are loaded in the background, so that when the player moves into another area, there’s no need for it to be loaded.
“A system and method are disclosed for dynamically loading game software for smooth game play,” reads the patent’s abstract. “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 a next game environment are loaded into a memory when the character crosses the load boundary, such that game play is not interrupted.”
It’s not groundbreaking by any means, and games have been employing similar techniques for a while now, especially in massive open world environments. That said, it’s not a widespread technique either, and if nothing else, the patent here does at least show us that Sony is seriously looking into minimizing load times as much as possible, one way or another.