PLAY LIFE, LIVE GAMES: Patents give some possible insights into PS5 plans
It’s probably not the first place people would think to go for the latest scoop on video game news, but the U.S. Patent Office can be a treasure trove of information on the gaming industry.
Especially when there are new game consoles on the horizon.
Sony filed a patent last month for something called an “in-game resource surfacing platform,” which could end up being some of the new technology that winds up in the upcoming PlayStation 5 console.
In its story about the patent, IGN reporter Matt Kim describes the technology as “an AI that may be able to help players stuck in a game by pointing them towards items or weapons that may help them overcome their obstacle. This can either be an in-game item or if need be, an item available for purchase.”
If this technology does wind up in the PS5 and is just used so that Sony and other developers can sell you cheats when you’re stuck in their games, then that would be disappointing. But reading the description in the patent, that’s not the impression I get.
To me, it sounds like the tech would be used to assist the gamer if they need help, but not necessarily by trying to sell you something. It sounds like this tech would look at how other players got past the same area and offer me suggestions or even show me videos to help.
Another Sony patent, along with a recent add-on released for the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller, point to some changes in the way games will be controlled on the PS5.
Sony has actually filed several patents related to possible game controllers, but the one that looks most feasible with the next-gen PlayStation controller is two new buttons on the back of the controller.
Microsoft added programmable back buttons to its Xbox Elite controllers a couple of years ago, and it looks like Sony is finally catching up. In the Japanese patent for the PS5 controller (probably going to be called the DualShock 5, but not confirmed yet), the new back buttons appear to be small trigger buttons located near the natural resting point you would place your middle fingers when holding the controller.
The back buttons look even more likely to become a reality because just last month Sony released the PlayStation Back Button Attachment for the PS4’s controller. The attachment connects to the controller via the headphone jack and data port on the bottom of the DualShock 4 and adds two programmable buttons to the back of the controller. Sony has confirmed that the DualShock 4 controller will be compatible with the PlayStation 5, so maybe this attachment will bring the two controllers into parity as far as button layouts.
I tried to buy one of the DualShock 4 Back Button Attachments to try it out for myself, but they were released in low numbers and have been hard to find locally. They are going for about double their $30 suggested retail price on Amazon and Ebay. Maybe it will come back in stock before the PlayStation 5 comes out.
Dusty Ricketts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is currently playing "Star Wars Battlefront 2" and “Friday the 13th: The Game.” You can find him to play online through his PlayStation Network ID: DustRAG316.