PlayStation 4 isn’t reinventing the wheel with regards to digital downloads, but it is going to make it a lot easier for you to play your PlayStation Network games on different systems. Chatting with Official PlayStation Magazine at the Develop conference in Brighton, Sony research and development boffin Neil Brown explained that the next generation console will make it a lot simpler to access your content on a friend’s machine.
“You can visit your friend’s house, log into your account, and play any game from your digital library, which is good,” he gushed. “But how useful is that if it takes half a day to download the game that you want to play? With [the PS4’s play as you download system], you get much quicker access to at least the first section of the game, so you can start playing quicker. So, this makes a digital library a practical option in the real world.”
While some people are billing this as a response to the Xbox One’s canned family sharing feature, that’s not entirely accurate. This sounds more like an evolution of the way that things currently exist – the only real difference is that the PS4 makes it a lot easier and faster. Can the impending console do no wrong? Not at the moment.
Brown added that the same feature will also put a timely end to laborious disc-based install screens. “A similar system also works on Blu-ray, where chunks are automatically copied to the hard drive in the background," he continued. "This means that after the first few minutes, your game can rely on having faster read speeds from the hard drive. You don’t have to wait for anything to install before playing the game. The game will launch as soon as the disk has been put in the drive.”
We’re going to erect a Mark Cerny statue in our back garden pretty soon. You’re all invited to embark on a pilgrimage in September should you desire.