Ever wish Siri could tell you how to beat the freaky monster you're staring down in a video game? She'll probably tell you something about what restaurants are open nearby if you try to ask her. But a recently published patent from Sony outlines a voice assistant system that could link directly into the game, your console (probably a PS5, let's be honest), and your phone to give you tips as you need them.
Industry analyst Daniel "ZhugeEX" Ahmad dug up the patent, titled "Voice Help System Using Artificial Intelligence", on his Twitter account. It was filed back in March and published on September 26, so if Sony ends up doing anything with it, there's a good chance we'll see the patented idea on PS5. Simply filing a patent is no guarantee that a corresponding product or product feature will ever make it onto the market, but it's enough to give us a window into what Sony's thinking about for its next line of consoles.
According to the patent, the system will be able to take voice commands directly from your console via an activating phrase, in this case "Hey PlayStation". Several of the patent illustrations used Skyrim (opens in new tab) (which is already playable on Alexa (opens in new tab)) as an example, with a player asking about where to find a steel sword or requesting more information about an enemy.
The assistant could hook into a "deep learning engine" to give contextualized answers based on the current state of the game, temporarily shrinking the game's screen space to display the answer next to it on your display. Or if your phone is synced up with the system, it could beam all the information straight there through a handy SMS-style conversation with your console.
That deep learning engine could be the key thing to separate the "Hey PlayStation" voice assistant from just asking Siri or Google or Alexa for tips. Those other voice assistants aren't looped directly into your game, so they'd have a much harder time giving you a good answer if you don't know precisely how to phrase your question. Sometimes you just need to know "How do I kill this thing?!" ASAP.
Find out more about what will be under the hood of your next console with our guide to PS5 specs (opens in new tab).