GamesBeat

How PlayStation 4′s play-as-you-download feature works

Above: The PlayStation 4's digital store.

Image Credit: Sony Computer Entertainment

You aren’t giving Sony $400 to wait. Well, you have to wait a few more days to get your hands on the PlayStation 4 this Friday, but after that, waiting is for suckers.

Instead of wasting your time, Sony wants the PlayStation 4 to serve gamers what they want instantly or with as little delay as possible. That’s why the next-gen console enables them to play games while they’re downloading.

Sony sat GamesBeat down for a demonstration of how this works for a title like Call of Duty: Ghosts. For the shooter, developer Infinity Ward was able to split the PS4 download into a single-player campaign and multiplayer mode, and it’s up to gamers to decide which one they want to start playing first.

“[PlayStation 4] just needs to download a fraction of the game, and once it reaches that certain point, you can start playing that mode,” Sony Network Entertainment senior director Grace Chen told GamesBeat. “The system will then automatically download the rest of that mode and then the other mode.”

For games that have different modes, you have to choose. Thankfully, even if you choose multiplayer and decide to jump right into a match, the system will continue to download the game in the background. That’s opposed to something like the Xbox 360 that pauses downloads anytime an online game starts using the network.

Sony also enabled remote purchasing using the PlayStation app, which launches Friday for iOS and Android, to further eliminate waiting.

“If you make PlayStation 4 purchases from a mobile device or through the web, if your PS4 is in standby mode, it will wake up and start downloading that content,” said Chen.

The PS4 defaults to that standby mode and is always listening to the network in case it needs to power on for the app or connect with a PlayStation Vita for remote play. We haven’t tried any of this in the wild yet, but we’ll have hands-on impressions of the PS4 and all of its features later this week.


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