The PS5 is going to be one smart console. With no loading times, the console's incredible SSD will be able to call up games instantly, dropping you back into the section of game you left at a moment's notice. Advanced ray-tracing capabilities are going to make games look incredible, replicating directional light. However, something we've not heard much about is the PS5's artificial intelligence capabilities.
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We've heard the PS5 might use artificial intelligence software to learn from players, and may even carry a smart assistant of its own, but it sounds like the PS5's abilities don't end there. Patented on May 22, Gaming INTEL (opens in new tab) discovered a Sony patent titled '"Dynamic Music Creation in Gaming".
This new dynamic music patent is designed to use "emotional metadata components" to evoke certain reactions during gameplay. There's plenty of beautiful pieces of music created for games – just look at iconic pieces from The Last Of Us, Metal Gear Solid or Skyrim, to name a few – but Dynamic Music Creation takes things to the next level.
It's said to compose in real-time, using several musical motifs to create "a musical composition based on the game vector and desired emotions".
Let's look at a real-world example: take Skyrim. If you choose to interact with another character, for example your NPC helper Lydia, you might hear a soft piece of music, which would become Lydia's theme.
If Lydia drops to low health during battle, the music would reflect this, as a more urgent version of Lydia's theme might play over the top of the existing battle music, tugging on your heartstrings and prompting you to help her.
Movie scores work very much the same way, attaching certain leitmotifs to characters and playing them in different ways to evoke emotion. Darth Vader's iconic "Imperial March" tune is a great example of this: go back through the Star Wars scores to find all the different ways this familiar tune can be played to convey different emotions during scenes.
We must stress although this is a patent technology and not guaranteed to appear on the new console, this is not the first time the Sony gaming team have patented emotion-recording and manipulating new technologies. Earlier this year, Sony patented a PS5 robot companion which was designed to read your emotional responses.
Granted in April, the patent said: "...the robot communicates with the user by outputting a reaction to empathise with the user or outputting a reaction against the user conversely, on the basis of a deduced user's feeling,"
It was designed to read your reaction to the game or film and express an emotion. By reacting to the robot, it would know whether or not it had expressed the right one, presumably feeding this information back to Sony to more effectively create compelling content.
While this sounds a tad invasive on the surface, a smart musical score tailored to your in-game actions could make gaming on the PS5 even more interactive, immersive and cinematic. Will it be ready on the console in time? We'll know more for sure as we get closer to that holiday 2020 launch date.