Sony Reports Indicate A Renewed Focus On Single Player Games

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Sony Reports Indicate A Renewed Focus On Single Player Games
Image: Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

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.

Comments

  • This is why quick resume is so great.

    Also I’m not sure what they mean by “focus more on single player games”. Aren’t all Sony games SP…I can’t think of a 1st party game that isn’t SP. GT took me a while to think of. And even then it’s got a fair amount of SP and isn’t exactly huge

    • I think Uncharted 4 had multiplayer, although I don’t know how popular it was. Naughty Dog are my favourite developer, I buy anything they make on day 1, but I’ve never touched the multiplayer in any of them. TLOU2 has no multiplayer, although it wouldn’t surprise me if that showed up later, maybe as a standalone / F2P thing.

      I think Ghost of Tsushima had multiplayer of some kind added after launch, although I don’t have it so can’t comment on how good / extensive it is.

      Killzone Shadow Fall had multiplayer although, again, I never went near it. Also DriveClub, although I think those servers have been shut down now. Bloodborne also has the usual Souls-y kind of multiplayer.

        • True, but by that definition, I’m struggling to think of too many dedicated multiplayer games from any of the platform holders’ first party studios. Sea of Thieves, I guess? Super Smash Bros on the Nintendo side…. The bulk of the first party output from all 3 platform holders seems to be geared towards single player. The multiplayer focused, games as service type stuff tends to be third party for the most part.

  • “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.”

    Now, see, this is what’s so great about Valhalla’s ‘mysteries’ on the map. Bite-sized mini-quests that you know you can knock out in about 5-10 minutes, depending. It’s built-in chunking!

  • Weren’t they so laser focused on single-player games that they had to commit to putting at least a little effort into multiplayer relatively recently? Don’t get me wrong – PS4’s singleplayer games have been some of the best of the generation and made the console for me but I really wasn’t feeling a lack of focus on single-player.

  • Whats kinda great is that somehow this idea is niche. The basically have a huge chunk of the AAA market to themselves while all the other clowns fight over the live service coin and inevitably lose to Fortnight.

  • Its obviously a system seller, but I’m getting kinda burned out with third person open to openish world action adventure titles.

  • i dont think anyone has said single player games are dead. Its been proven time and time again on both consoles. Yes yes sony does have some great first party titles . but this is just a derp statement.

  • “In an ideal world, every player has the time to spend hours per day, every day, playing games,”

    I love gaming but I think a world where every gamer spends hours every day gaming is far from ideal!

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