A patent published on September 21 details what appears to be an “instant play” feature that will allow Steam users to play games while they download. Documents cite the growing size of game files, which may be upwards of 100 GB, to determine the patent’s context and necessitate the new technology.
In fact, a feature like this is often already available on Blizzard’s Battle.net. Users need only download a part of a game before it’s playable, but the gameplay is usually limited to only parts of the sport. Game files have grown in size over the last decade, requiring long downloads and bigger hard drives to write down and store all of the info. While space for storing has grown with file size, hardware reading speeds struggle to stay up. One aspect of file size that Valve is hoping to deal with is that the ability to prioritize game files accessed most often by users. this is often almost like when a Call of Duty:
Modern Warfare update allowed PC players to uninstall unused game data. As spotted by Twitter user Pavel Djundik, Valve’s patent explains that because game files today are so large, existing technology may cause delays in game installation. this is often reflected within the expanding HDD size in consoles also. It also states that because games are so large “latency can arise sometimes when the PC is loading the sports data from the HDD during a game session.” this means that current models available to users to download and play games synchronously is leading to latency.
Valve is looking to enhance this model by providing remote access computing platforms that will “implement game-related features including, without limitation, ‘instant play’ of video games.” The patent also claims that this technique may improve the functionality of user machines because, by providing instant access, games could also be downloaded more intelligibly to scale back latency during downloads. The feature can also release local HDD and memory resources on PCs, giving users more room to store other games and conserve resources.
The patent explains that if the user’s PC or the remote system from which games are downloaded determines that a user always plays multiplayer mode but never single-player mode, “the single-player game data for the computer game are often deleted from the non-volatile memory of the client machine.” Incidentally, the Steam deck is hitting the final production stages and only has up to 512 GB storage capacity (depending on the model you buy). This new technology will definitely benefit users looking to shop for and store a huge library of games on their Steam deck.
Technology advancements are usually an honest sign for a corporation like Valve. Updates like this will help keep the corporate relevant within the modern gaming industry. This development could also be a subsequent step in how Valve will support the Steam Deck and other peripherals. But overall, Steam libraries are a source of pride for several users. This new option means accessing titles within it’ll be easier than ever before.