Latest Sony Patent Wants to Take the Grind Out of Games by Playing Them For You 1
Image: Push Square

Sony loves filing patents for gaming ideas that'll, more than likely, never come to fruition. It's done it again with a recent listing that focuses on the idea of "auto-playing portions of a video game".

Essentially, an auto-play feature would mean a game takes over control and plays itself during segments that a player might find boring, or time-consuming. The example used is grinding — the need to gain experience and level up in order to meet the challenge of a boss fight, or continue with a game's story. Rather than do this manually for hours on end, this auto-play system could, in theory, take care of that for you, leaving you to play the parts of the game you actually care about.

To do this, the game would invite you to engage the auto-play mode, at which point, AI using "data from the user play model" will take over and do the legwork on your behalf, simulating the "gameplay style of the user". Once the grinding is taken care of, a notification to resume normal play would pop up, and you'll continue playing as usual.

"By using auto-play mode, users can avoid the need to play parts of a game that they do not like playing and reduce the amount of time it takes to complete the game because the AI player can play the grinding portions of the game at a faster speed," the patent reads.

As noted by Exputer, numerous MMORPG titles on PC and mobile utilise some form of auto-play, mainly to grind through battles or to cover a player while they're absent from the game. It's not totally unheard of, then, but it's certainly not the norm in the majority of modern titles on console.

Again, these patents usually don't amount to anything more than just that, so who knows if we'll see auto-play modes come in over the next few years. What do you make of this? Would you like auto-play to grind through RPGs for you, or allow you to keep playing Helldivers 2, so to speak, while you're taking a break? Discuss in the comments section below.

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