Much in the same way that we always move the tomato sauce to the front of the fridge, PlayStation 4 downloads can be rearranged depending on which modes and features prove the most popular. Speaking as part of an interview with The Guardian, DriveClub’s technical director Scott Kirkland explained that certain circuits and vehicles can be frontloaded in the title’s download file if players gravitate towards them.
“If we recognise that a majority of people take a particular path through the game that we didn’t anticipate, we could dynamically modify the default order that the digital version of the game gets pulled down in,” he explained. In short, developers will be able to ensure that you get to the most interesting parts of a given title as quickly as possible. With the PS4 allowing you to play your games while they're downloading, that sounds pretty handy.
But the benefits of Sony’s next generation system don’t stop there. Studios will also be able to release micro patches, which don’t require a full update. “If there are any balancing issues – if anyone says, ‘this car is 0.1 second slower than it should be at 0-60mph’ – we can make adjustments like that,” game director Paul Rustchynsky said. Seeing as we’ve spent the past seven years in patch purgatory on the PlayStation 3, this all sounds heavenly.
In fact, we’re probably anticipating these performance upgrades more than the snazzy new visuals and social features. Don’t get us wrong, we can’t wait to be dazzled by the PS4’s glitzy high-resolution textures – but, man, we’ve spent so much time cursing at the PS3’s many quirks that it’s going to be nice to spend time with a system where they’ve all been significantly streamlined.