Sony working on AI-powered AFK assistant

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Strong points

  • Sony may be considering adding an AI-powered “assistant” to its PlayStation VR experience to make it more seamless during gaming session interruptions.
  • The hypothetical AI product would likely pause VR games or escort players to safe locations during interruptions to prevent play on screens when resuming.
  • The success of this AI-powered “assistant” will depend on the popularity of VR games, as Sony may not launch it without a significant increase in VR popularity.


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With the recent publication of one of its patents, there are indications that Sony is looking to add a new AI-based product to its gaming-focused product line. Although AI has quickly become ubiquitous in the general computing market, tech companies like Sony are only scratching the surface when it comes to leveraging the technology in their gaming-focused hardware.


Even though AI has been making headlines since 2022 and continues to be a buzzword in the broader tech landscape, Sony is unlikely to officially unveil its first alliance with this emerging technology anytime soon. For example, Sony only recently released PlayStation Portal with Remote Play, almost two decades after the feature was introduced during the PlayStation 3’s lifecycle.

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Where AI will fit into the PlayStation experience

Based on Sony’s recently published patent, its hypothetical AI-powered product will likely serve a limited and very specific function. Building on the patent, Sony hopes to harness the power of AI technology to offer players “help” that will make the PlayStation VR experience smoother between interruptions in gaming sessions. As noted in the patent, This hardware would leverage AI to assist players at the very moment a player goes AFK, during the duration a player goes AFK, and at the moment a player returns from AFK.


playstation ai patent


It’s not yet clear how this potential addition to the PS VR accessory lineup will perform if it ever ends up in consumers’ hands. From its description in the patent, it appears Sony intends to deploy the assistant as a way to automatically pause VR games during gameplay interruptions or, at the very least, escort players to safe places in the game to prevent them from being greeted with a game on screen when they resume their gaming sessions.


As this product would mark Sony’s first attempt at integrating AI into the PlayStation experience on a hardware level, it wouldn’t make much sense for the company to reinvent the wheel in its first dance with the technology. On the contrary, it can be considered that Sony intends to further double down on its virtual reality offerings. However, it remains to be seen whether this potential AI-powered “assistant” will ever hit the market. With VR game sales lagging in the market, and not just within the PlayStation ecosystem, VR is expected to see a huge jump in popularity before Sony seriously considers pulling the trigger on this patent.

PlayStation VR2 headset

PlayStation VR2 headset

The Sony PlayStation VR2 headset is a great generational upgrade that makes its predecessor look like a proverbial toy given the massive visual upgrade associated with the much better controllers. In terms of specs, it beats some of its much more expensive competitors while offering a 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rate when running with a PlayStation 5.

Brand
Sony

Resolution (per eye)
2000×2040

Display type
OLED

Connectivity
Bluetooth 5.1 (controllers only), USB-C

Tracking Technology
4 built-in cameras, 2 IR cameras (internal), motion detection controllers

audio
Built-in microphone, headphone jack for audio

Weight
560g