Sony Patent Reveals New Details for Possible Playstation 5 Voice Assistant
Sony has filed a patent for what looks like a voice assistant for the PlayStation 5 video game console expected to arrive this year. The patent for an “in-game information platform” describes what sounds like an AI that players will be able to speak with to get help with games and stay informed about other notifications.
The patent for the AI, rumored to be called the Playstation Assist, showcases how the assistant may aid the player in both accomplishing goals in the games as well as manage other aspects of their lives. For instance, in the image at the top, the assistant tells the player they are using their weapon wrong and that they should try something else or watch a demo. Meanwhile, in the flow chart below, the assistant tells the player that it will take 45 minutes to achieve that objective, but a show they have bookmarked starts in just 30 minutes. The assistant offers an objective that can be completed in time to still watch the show if the player wants. The image implies that the player would speak to the assistant, presumably through the microphones already confirmed to be in the controllers for the Playstation 5. It may also be related to another patent that describes using the assistant to buy content in the game.
The new patent paints a picture of a very involved, complex voice assistant, but it may not be available right when the console launches. Sony has not said anything about it officially, and the late date of some of these patents suggests the features may roll out later on. That’s similar to how Google Stadia came out with a button for Google Assistant, but no functionality for it until very recently. The Playstation 5’s voice assistant may evolve along with the system, or it may just be that Sony is saving that announcement for closer to the launch date in order to continue to build anticipation.
Of course, Sony won’t be alone in the AI for video games rush. Besides Google Stadia, Microsoft is rumored to be developing a non-Cortana voice assistant plans for the upcoming version of the Xbox. The Xbox voice assistant may be built in-house, or use a platform created by a startup like Fridai, which creates video game-specific voice assistants and recently joined the Microsoft for Startups accelerator. The consoles may even become more ecumenical, with a central voice assistant but with support for Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to go with it as a way of integrating with other smart devices.