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PS5 could let users share controller inputs in single-player games

Sony has been trying to work more social and multiplayer elements into its game consoles for quite a while now, including the “Share Play” function on the PS4, and it looks like things could get even more interesting on the PlayStation 5. According to a new patent filing, the PS5 will let two players experience a single-player game together via shared inputs on their controllers.

Spotted by Dutch site LetsGoDigital — which also shared information on alleged development kits and portable controllers — the published application refers to “bifurcation of shared controls” in a video game. The technology would allow for players on two separate controllers to effectively combine their inputs in order to control a single character on the screen. It would make use of an “input aggregation server” through the cloud in order to combine these inputs, so players could potentially be in two different locations and enjoy the same game together, even without the game including a traditional multiplayer mode.


“Furthermore, in some implementations, the shifting of the division of controls can be at a set point in the game or can be dynamically in response to some condition,” the filing continued, also mentioning users’ votes as a condition for switching controls.

Using this setup, Sony could effectively create a server-side version of the “pass the controller” rules that Super Mario Bros. players likely remembered with their friends or siblings during the NES generation. Hard rules would make it less likely that someone could hog the controller, however, or a particular task that they want to keep doing in the game.

If what we have been hearing about the PS5 thus far is all true, then the console is shaping up to revolutionize how we experience video games. Sony has developed a system that could allow players to jump right into a game with their friends without having to go through the game’s initial menu, and they will likely be able to install only the parts of the game they’re interested in playing, such as campaign or multiplayer. We’ll find out all the details on the PS5 when it launches in late 2020.

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