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Sony Patent Would See PlayStation Game Difficulty Adapt in Real-Time to Player Skill

Sony has filed a patent that would see PlayStation game difficulty adapt in real-time depending on player skill level.

As reported by
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, the "adaptive difficulty calibration for skills-based activities in virtual environments" patent was
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on December 7, 2023. Though filing a patent doesn't guarantee this technology will emerge, it does mean Sony is looking into it as a potential feature for upcoming PlayStation games.

It would see Sony collect data from players in real-time to presumably provide them a more satisfying gaming experience, by either increasing the difficulty level to ensure enough challenge is presented or by reducing it to avoid frustration. The patent doesn't just reference blanket difficulty levels like easy or hard either, but instead specifically mentions elements like increasing certain player abilities, altering the number of enemies, and so on.

"The collected data may be evaluated to identify whether a user gaming performance level corresponds to an expected level of performance," the patent reads. "When the user gaming performance level does not correspond to an expected level of performance, parameters that change the difficultly of the game may be changed automatically.

"Parameters that relate to movement speed, delay or hesitation, character strengths, numbers of competitors, or other metrics may be changed incrementally until a current user performance level corresponds to an expectation level of a particular user currently playing the game. At this time, the user expectation level may be changed, and the process may be repeated as skills of the user are developed over time."

The technology certainly seems a few steps above where video games are currently, but
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, it's perhaps closer than we think.

Sony has filed plenty of other exciting and sometimes wacky patents in the past, including
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depending on their environment, and another that
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inside the controller to charge.

Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelance reporter. He'll talk about The Witcher all day.

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