New Sony Time Management Patent Could Help Players Keep To Schedules

We definitely need this feature from Sony.

It’s often easy to lose track of time while playing a video game, especially one that you’re very engrossed in. So easy, in fact, that players might forget about other engagements in the process. However, a new Sony time management patent appears to be focused on addressing that very problem.

…when a player of a single player game attempts to complete a level of some sort, they may be required to take anywhere between less than five minutes and more than several hours to complete the task. This uncertainty in the time required to complete an in-game task poses problems to players because they may have other engagements.

With the sheer size of many games these days, players can often get lost in the sheer size of them, whether in challenges, difficulty levels, collecting things, and more. The patent brings up that, while many other forms of media and tasks have rough time limits, video gaming does not.

…users are typically provided with an estimate of how long a download will take, or how long a commercial will run. Not so with video games. In many circumstances, players of video games are not made aware of how long a certain task will take.

While there are various ways to find out a game’s length, such as the website “How Long To Beat”, actually playing the game can still cause players to lose track of time, hence the patent’s intention, which it shows in the various drawings included in the patent.

Figures 8A and 8B illustrate in-game scenarios in which a player’s duration for completion for a game course is presented to the player in making decisions.

While many games that can be seen as addicting have already been given loading screen tips about how good it is to take breaks occasionally, a much more difficult-to-ignore method that reminds players of other things they must do that day could also be helpful. All we can really do until Sony actually implements this patent, however, is wait and see.

Hunter is senior news writer at He is a long time fan of strategy, RPG, and tabletop games. When he is not playing games, he likes to write about them.