Why do we like watching other people play games so much? From the rise of internet streaming phenomenon Twitch to the advent of eSports, the only thing gamers seem to love as much as playing games is watching other people do it.
To that end, the PS4's dedicated Share button was revolutionary when it first debuted on the Dualshock 4, allowing gamers to record up to 15 minutes of gameplay and send it to their fellow gamers around the world without leaving the PS4 console. Xbox One has a similar function with its ability to broadcast and capture gaming clips, but doesn't have the dedicated hardware function in the same way the PS5 does. Now, PS5 is set to continue that trend with the advent of a new technology.
Gaming leaksters RespawnFirst have found a patent filed by Sony on November 21, lodged with the US Patent Office. It details the next phase of Sony's plan to get gamers sharing content with each other, using a technology called "scene tagging".
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The patent reads:
"Scene tagging is used to characterise user generated content associated with gameplay information [and] video games.
"Exemplary user generated content include video recordings or screenshots from within the video game that pertain to events that have occurred."
So far. so predictable. Scene tagging sounds like it could work with a PS5 function similar to the PS4's existing Share button, recording clips and screenshots from the console directly. However, scene tagging sounds more sophisticated than a screengrab, as the patent goes on to describe.
"Corresponding metadata would then be used to describe substantive aspects about the user-generated content such as details about where the recording or screenshot was taken, who was included in the user-generated content, and what objects are found in the user-generated content...
"Furthermore, the metadata associated with the user-generated content would allow viewers to experience the same events that were recorded."
Sifting through the jargon, we can identify that "scene tagging" would be less of a screengrab and more of an "experience". Viewers could potentially get the opportunity to look around the scene, identifying other players, key items, objectives and more. You can search for scenetags from a particular game or even a particular level or section, and request to view other people's scenetags once you've found the right one.
This is a very exciting prospect. Imagine, for example, needing help getting past a specific dungeon in the next Elder Scrolls. You could search for a scene tag featuring players completing that particular dungeon, embed yourself in the scene and put yourself in the perspective of the player. Sounds cool, right?
Of course, the patent being filed doesn't mean we'll see it in the finished console, or even one of its updates. However, it's interesting to know Sony's serious enough about user-generated content to take it to the next level, creating a truly collaborative PlayStation community.