Sony To Add A “Slow Mode” Feature To More Of Its Upcoming Games

Just like Rachet and Clank: Rift Apart's slow mode.

Story Highlights

  • A new patent published by Sony wants to add a feature to slow time in its games.
  • It is already used in Rachet and Clank: Rift Apart; the publisher likely wants them in other titles.
  • The slow mode would reduce gameplay speed without hurting FPS, audio, and other elements.

Sony is often ahead of the competition in introducing a huge variety of innovations and features in its games for the sake of accessibility. The company has now published a patent that wants to add a slow mode. We have already seen glimpses into this feature in Rachet and Clank: Rift Apart and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 titles. However, the patent likely wants to secure the idea for other games, potentially making it a universal addition.

The legal doc dubbed “USER ACCESSIBILITY SYSTEM AND METHOD” talks about adding a system that wants to make it convenient for gamers to reduce gameplay speed. This feature would not replace the traditional difficulty method that affects many aspects of gameplay. Instead, the slow game mode would allow the user to reduce the game speed at varying levels to help them adapt to fast-moving elements on the screen.

The game itself can slow down in-game time, so that gameplay evolves more slowly whilst still maintaining audio and a good frame rate. As in Ratchet & Clank, this requires enabling the user to set the speed change that suits them best, and to select when to apply it, for every game that implements its own version of such a feature,” reads the patent.

The image shows schematic design of the system and controller | Image Source: Patentscope
The image shows the schematic design of the system and controller | Image Source: Patentscope

Sony argues that the current methods to address the difficulty of games make them way too effortless for some players. Selecting an easier game mode also often affects the enemy spawn rates, the health bars, ammo, and other elements instead of speed. So, the publisher wants to use the slow mode to make games more accessible while retaining good FPS, audio, and difficulty.

In short, changing the difficulty setting of a game to accommodate accessibility needs is typically a sub-optimal solution because it necessarily changes the nature and balance of the game itself.”

The flow diagram shows method to improve accessibility for the user | Image Source: Patentscope
The flow diagram shows methods to improve accessibility for the user | Image Source: Patentscope

While slow mode may not be everyone’s cup of tea, we can expect it to make a nice addition to many Sony exclusives. It was popularized as “bullet time” in Max Payne games but was not used for accessibility until recently. We will likely see the option appearing in many Sony projects to come.

The publisher has also put out other enticing patents to discuss boosting accessibility features in its games. It recently secured the idea to put a protective bubble around players in VR games to protect them from harassment. Similarly, the company has also patented to add modern accessibility features in its older games. 

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Source
Patentscope

Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

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