Sony Patents To Pre-Record Gameplay Videos For Real-Time Player Assistance

"If someone played the game in a certain area, then there would be video content to watch on that area."

Sony is a prominent visionary in every industry, and gaming is arguably among the largest. The giant conglomerate has patented various ideas to innovate video games, such as in-game asset generation based on the user’s voice and automatically pausing games by detecting controller motion technology.

The latest patent seeks to help the gaming sphere in an unexpected way. We recently bumped into a reticent patent newly published by Sony dubbed “SURFACING PRERECORDED GAMEPLAY VIDEO FOR IN-GAME PLAYER ASSISTANCE.” The proposed method seeks to pre-record gameplay videos through various means.

The pre-recorded gameplay video will be suggested to players if they are stuck in a specific part of a video game. In other words, as long as someone has played a particular part of a game and uploaded it online, whether, in a live stream or videos, the users will be directed to a tutorial while playing the game if they are stuck.

Major Takeaway

  • Sony recently published a patent to pre-record gameplay videos from sources such as live streams to guide players stuck at a particular part of a game. 
  • If a person has played a part of a game and uploaded it online, it will be a tutorial to the general audience that gets stuck at that part.
  • Users can search through the available videos by using different filters and constraints.
  • Developers will no longer have to create tutorials manually, and players will not require to search online through dozens of large videos to find a specific part where they need help.
  • The proposed method could be implemented in game engines, cloud gaming, and other ways.

Sony elaborates on the need for the discussed method, noting how users can share videos, gameplay, and tutorials through videos or live streams. However, “such videos do not provide any information regarding what level, chapter, or part of the game is being played.

Sony explains that users will have to manually watch and skim through all the available gameplay to find the exact particulars for required assistance. Moreover, even if the user finds the specific part manually, it will still reportedly lack details like the precise coordinates of the location.

Furthermore, Sony argues it is very resource-extensive for developers to manually create tutorials and impossible to cover every part of a game that the user is struggling against. The tutorials or gameplay videos do not feature all the playstyles or possible paths, leaving most players in the dust.

A diagram displaying a system for showing gameplay video of a game, storing and analyzing said gameplay video for playback alongside the gameplay of the video game.

The patent aims to solve all these problems, aiding developers and consumers by automating the tutorial creation process using AI. Sony notes, “relevant metadata is added to the gameplay broadcast stream, making it possible to intelligently collect the various gameplay videos using knowledge of the gam[e]play, e.g. which chapter, level, (x,y,z) coordinates, etc.

Using such information, a system can intelligently catalog gameplay videos, and create a map or run through of a given level, for example. If a player is having trouble in a certain area of the game, then the system can direct the player to videos from the same area of the game which were recorded previously.

In simpler words, the gameplay of all playstyles and paths is recorded for each specific level, coordinate, and area to aid players. The method will be able to provide the exact data the player wants without them having to view the whole stream or a video. The video refers to both the visual and audio-only data, per the patent.

As Sony mentions, “If someone played the game in a certain area, then there would be video content to watch on that area.

A diagram conceptually illustrating various gameplay videos correlated with a user’s current gameplay.

The users can search through the suggested videos in-game using the proposed system, “A video search server 140 is configured to expose a search capability to enable viewers/players to see the stored gameplay videos.

The gameplay videos may be filtered or ranked by keeping various factors in mind, including “popularity, number of views, subscribers, author’s relationship to the viewer in a social network/graph (e.g. prioritizing videos from the user’s friends list on the social network), speed of playthrough, etc.” The videos can also be reportedly filtered to find videos of players with specific playstyles and skill levels.

The videos can be cut and edited together “intelligently” by AI to present the best example to players. The patent cites, “gameplay videos can be spliced together across many videos to, for example, create a level walk through from content generated by users that were playing the game.”

If the player stumbles upon different paths to select from mid-game, the system will let the player see videos of all the possible routes. For instance, “the user could be faced with different hallways to choose from, the system could pull up videos where players took each of the hallways.

A conception illustration showing a user facing different directions in a virtual environment and different gameplay videos being presented as a result.

The gameplay is not solely provided to help the players; it can also be used to compare a player’s playthrough with others to see different what-if scenarios.

Sony clarifies, “by mapping such replays of others to their corresponding spatial/temporal locations of the video game, they can be used to demonstrate others’ gameplay at a similar point of progress in the video game to provide assistance.

A diagram conceptually illustrating using the controller input time series in a replay video.

The discussed method may be implemented through game engines or cloud gaming systems. However, the patent is not limited to the aforesaid methods and variables.  

What are your thoughts about Sony exploring the prospect of pre-recording gameplay from sources like live streams to guide players when needed? Do you think the system will automate the tutorials for the gaming industry? Do let us know your opinions in the comments below.

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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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