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We've already heard a lot about what a speedy chap the PlayStation 5 is. Much has been made of the next-gen console's SSD, and the way in which it'll enable much faster loading - up to 100 times faster than the loading screens we're used to on PlayStation 4, apparently.
A future with minimal loading screens sounds pretty great to me. But what's really exciting is the news that the PS5 is apparently taking things one step further with a designated quick-load feature, designed to instantly load up specific sections or modes of games.
A now-deleted interview between GameReactor Spain, WRC 9: World Rally Championship director Alan Jarniou, and product manager Sébastien Waxin (translated by TheSixthAxis) confirmed the exciting next-gen news... though presumably not in the way Sony would have wanted.
The new feature, which seems to be called "PS5 Activities", can be used to "directly access races or parts of the game". That's within the context of WRC 9, of course. One imagines it will have similar uses in other games, such as instantly loading specific missions in Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
"WRC 9 will implement fully asynchronous and optimized loading," GameReactor Spain wrote. "Using the new super-fast SSD memories so that the players get behind the wheel in no time, while the function of the PlayStation 5 Activities system will propose instant 'deeplink' links from the start menu to directly access races or parts of the game, with the intention of 'keeping players hooked'."
System architect Mark Cerny did touch on a similar feature in an interview with Wired last year, though it wasn't (openly) called PS5 Activities at that point.
"Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real time," Cerny said in October 2019. "Single-player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them - and all of those choices will be visible in the UI. As a player you just jump right into whatever you like."
It's a fascinating concept, and I'm super intrigued to see how it all works. The idea of leaping straight into a mission from the PS5 home screen without having to boot up a game and navigate menus first is truly wild. Ultimately, I do think it's these little tweaks and quality of life improvements that will come to be regarded the most when we all look back on the PS5 and Xbox Series X years from now. It's all about an efficient UI.
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