Valve Patents “Instant Play” Feature for Steam, Allowing Users to Play Games Before They’re Finished Downloading

Valve has patented an “Instant Play” feature that would allow users to play games before they’re finished downloading. The company is also making it easier for developers to release games through Steam, with the new SDK update.

The instant play feature, which was patented by Valve in 2015, allows users to play a game before it’s fully installed on their PlayStation 4.

Valve-Patents-Instant-Play-Feature-for-Steam-Allowing-Users-toImage credit: Steam

Valve has filed a patent for a new “instant play” feature for Steam that would enable anxious customers to play games before they are fully downloaded. Similar systems have already been implemented in other platforms and clients such as Xbox, PlayStation, Origin, and, so the idea isn’t exactly revolutionary, but it should be a welcome addition in light of the ridiculously large file sizes that more and more PC games are weighing in at these days.

Although it’s unclear when (or even if) Valve will make this feature available in Steam, the patent abstract provides some insight into how it’ll operate. The function seems to use telemetry to allow video game “immediate play.”

A file system proxy component configured to monitor read operations performed by the game executable during a gaming session, produce access data based on the tracked read operations, and report the access data to a remote system may be used by client computers running game executables of a video game(s). This telemetry approach enables the remote system to collect access data from multiple client machines, catalog the data according to client system configuration, and analyze the data to generate data that can be used by client machines to implement various game-related features such as “instant play” of video games, discarding of unused blocks of g, and so on.

What’s even better is that game creators may not need to perform any more work to allow immediate play for Steam titles. “[…] the process 800 technique is game agnostic, which means that a game developer does not need to do any work to enable the instant play 128 feature; rather, it is a value add for all games on a video game distribution platform that distributes video games to a diverse population of client system configurations.”

A new Valve patent covers monitoring game file read activities and allowing “immediate play,” which allows you to begin playing a game before it has finished downloading.

September 21, 2021 — Pavel Djundik (@thexpaw)

FPO is the source of this information (via Pavel Djundik)

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The valve handheld console is a patent filed by Valve Corporation. It was filed on April 26, 2016 and it is for an instant play feature for their Steam platform. This allows users to start playing games before they’re finished downloading.

Related Tags

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