Sony has just patented their new technology which helps remove loading screens from games. This patent is titled ‘System and method for dynamically loading game software for smooth gameplay’. It makes game data pre-loaded in advance, which prevents loading screens to appear.
As IGN reported, this technology will monitor player’s character, use the information to determine environments and assets to load before the player approach the corresponding area. “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 memory when the character crosses the load boundary, such that gameplay is not interrupted,” the patent describes. In short, the next area will be loaded in background when the player approaches a corresponding point in the current area.
This is not very surprising, considering the PS5 will definitely get an SSD. Sony is focusing high specs for their next-gen consoles to compete against Xbox Scarlett, which also has an SSD. This indicates future games will have much shorter load-times, even no loading screen at all.
Keep in mind that Sony doesn’t claim that loading screens will extinct soon. Yet, their patent does make load-times significantly faster and don’t interrupt gameplay. Indeed, today’s technologies are not yet enough to put an end to boring loading screens. However, anything that makes faster game loading is valuable.