While we lament the addition of another seemingly needless PlayStation 3 firmware update, Mark Cerny – the mastermind behind both the PlayStation 4 and arcade classic Marble Madness – has discussed in detail the feature inside Sony’s next generation console that will get you playing faster than ever before.
Irritatingly dubbed ‘PlayGo’, the technology will allow you to hop into a game before it has even finished downloading. "The concept is that you download just a portion of the overall data and start your play session, and you continue your play session as the rest downloads in the background," he told Gamasutra, no doubt with a satisfied smile plastered across his face.
The console will also be able to install retail games without making you wait. “So, what we do as the game accesses the Blu-ray disc, is we take any data that was accessed, and we put it on the hard drive,” he explained. "And if then there is idle time, we go ahead and copy the remaining data to the hard drive. And what that means is after an hour or two, the game is on the hard drive, and you have access, [and] you have dramatically quicker loading.”
In addition, the PS4 will include a custom chip designed for background activity, meaning that pesky firmware updates will soon become a thing of the past. However, this, according to Cerny, will be environmentally friendly, too. "To make it a more green hardware, which is very important for us, we have the ability to turn off the main power in the system and just have power to that secondary custom chip, system memory, and I/O – hard drive, Ethernet,” he said. “So, that allows background downloads to happen in a very low power scenario.”
There’s plenty more from Cerny through here. We’re just delighted that we’re not going to have to read through a slew of complaints on Twitter every time that there’s a new system update. What's tickling your fancy about the PS4? Let us know in the comments section below.