Single player games aren’t dead yet. According to a new Sony report obtained by Vice, PlayStation players are now regularly spending more time playing games offline than online — and it’s shaping the way Sony approaches games.
The document detailed how the new ‘activities’ feature on PS5 tackled the major challenges facing single player games, and explored why players chose to game online rather than in solo mode. To gather this data Sony conducted a rigorous survey, although the data and scope of this survey was not revealed.
The reasons reported included the need to have more than two hours free to play, the need for frequent help in single player titles, wanting to engage socially without seeing spoilers and forgetting progress when jumping back in. These complaints served as a basis for the creation of the PS5 activity hub, which lets players jump between game quests.
“In an ideal world, every player has the time to spend hours per day, every day, playing games,” one slide in the report stated. “In reality, most people have jobs. Or kids. Or school. Or all of the above. Often, free time comes wedged between other obligations.”
With single player more popular than ever, Sony aimed to create a more streamlined and friendly single player experience for the PS5. This is the crux of why the ‘activity’ feature lets you hop around between quests: so players can tackle the game in the order and timeframe they want. In the realm of time management, this process is known as ‘chunking’.
Ultimately, it aims to create a more player-friendly solo experience and encourage easy engagement for the time-poor. As much as we all love gaming, many of us have other responsibilities to take care of. A feature like ‘activities’ on PS5 helps address a lack of time and encourages the drop-in, drop-out gameplay multiplayer games are often known for.
The report goes on to illustrate how developers can better integrate these player-friendly practices into their own games, indicating a future commitment to making single player games more accessible. While the feature won’t be for everyone (particularly if you love open world games), it’s an absolute godsend for players looking to integrate gaming into busy daily lives.
Even in the current generation, single player games have an essential role to play. It’s great to see Sony committing to their continued growth in new ways.