Report: Cloud Functionality is an Integral Part of PlayStation 5

“Power of the Cloud” has been a buzzword since the beginning of this console generation, ever since Microsoft took to stage at E3 a few years ago and touted its revolutionary cloud system. Unfortunately, “power of the cloud” has delivered nothing from Microsoft. But things are changing, infrastructure is changing, and more companies are investing in Cloud Gaming.

Cloud Gaming takes many forms; sometimes it is used to help developers take the load off of physical hardware to deliver more complex gameplay experiences on consoles, other times entire code is run from a remote location so no physical hardware is involved. Google Stadia, Project xCloud, and Sony’s reported revamp of PS Now shows companies now have more faith in the “power of the cloud.”

Google and Microsoft have already shared their plans for the future with Cloud gaming, but what has Sony been up to? Sony is reportedly working on, among other things, its own cloud streaming via revamped PS Now. In recent weeks Sony has filed multiple patents for various types of cloud functionality.

Network Connected Controller for Direct to Cloud Gaming

Utility Patent Application (A1)

September 5, 2019

Applicants: Sony Interactive Entertainment America LLC

Inventors: Victor Octav Suba Miura, David Perry, Philippe Dias, Kelvin Yong, Nathan Gary

A controller device for user interactivity with a server of a cloud gaming system is provided, including the following: at least one input device that generates inputs for the server; wherein the controller device communicates directly to an access device for connection to a network that connects the controller device to the server without connecting to a client device; wherein the server receives and processes the inputs to render gameplay video that is transmitted over the network for rendering to a display device that is local to the controller device.

The patent refers to a device that lets players use a controller to stream video games from the cloud. It works in a similar manner to Project xCloud and Google Stadia where there is an option to use a local device to connect controllers and stream video games from cloud-based servers. Sony filed another patent which is clearly an improvement on the current build of PS Now.

System for Combining Recorded Application State with Application Streaming Interactive Video Output

Utility Patent Application (A1)

August 29, 2019

Applicants: Sony Interactive Entertainment America LLC

Inventors: Stephen G. Perlman, Roger van der Laan

A computer-implemented method is provided. The method includes running a game application on one or more servers of a hosting service center. The game application is for a game and wherein the game application is played by a first user of a first client device remote to the hosting service center via compressed streaming interactive video transmitted over the Internet. The method includes storing a recording of the game played by the first user. The method includes storing application state information for the recording of the game played by the first user. The method includes using the application state information, by a second user, to generate one or more additional views of the recording of the game played by the first user. The one or more additional views include generation of video using the application state information, and the generated video is different than video of the recording.

Social elements are a huge part of online gaming which is why it is important to have proper social interaction options. So far no video game streaming service has shared how it plans to allow player engagement and interaction. But Sony’s streaming service will allow players to record their gameplay and share with friends.

PRE-LOADING TRANSLATED CODE IN CLOUD-BASED EMULATED APPLICATIONS

Utility Patent Application (A1)

September 5, 2019

Applicants: Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.

Inventors: Jacob P. Stine, Victor Octav Suba Miura, Brian Michael Christopher Watson, Nicholas J. Cardell

Pre-translated code for an emulated application may be retrieved and executed to translate data from the emulated application into a form compatible with the client device before receiving a request for the emulated application from the client device. The translated data may be delivered to the client device platform over a network after receiving the request for the emulated application from the client device.

Pre-loading emulated applications help improve lag and latency issues of PlayStation Now. The patent suggests PlayStation 5 will continue the tradition of supporting older PlayStation titles. PS3 and PS4 both support classic titles via PS Now, same is now expected from PS5 but it might have its own unique answer to the backward compatibility question.

System and method for streaming game video

Utility Patent Grant (B2)

August 6, 2019

Assignees: Sony Interactive Entertainment America LLC

Inventors: Stephen G. Perlman, Roger van der Laan, Timothy Cotter, Scott Furman, Robert McCool, Ian Buckley

A system and method are described for managing the state of an online video game. A method includes initiating a new online video game in response to user input from a client device, the online video game being in a first state on a first server when initiated; executing the online video game on the server, thereby causing the online video game to enter a second state; pausing or terminating the online video game; determining differences between the first state and the second state and generating difference data containing the differences; transmitting the difference data over a network to a second server; and recreating the second state from the difference data and the first state in response to user input indicating that the user wishes to resume the online video game and in response to the second server being selected as the server on which to execute the video game.

Sony files multiple patents in the recent months but it should be noted that companies file them all the time; not even half them come to fruition. Sony future plans won’t come to light until next year so we’ll have to wait and see how it goes.