PlayStation 4: Internal study found gamers were spending more time offline

An internal study conducted at Sony found that a majority of PlayStation 4 gamers were playing offline rather than online. Among the lessons delivered, some even had an impact on the creation of the “Activities” feature of the PlayStation 5.

We can remember that at one time, it had become inconceivable not to include multiplayer mode in titles yet designed to be played alone. It seems that today, at least in what has been observed on PlayStation 4, players are more focused on solo experiences than on those practicable with several.

PlayStation 4: Internal study found gamers were spending more time offline

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Vice has obtained internal documents from Sony in which we learn that PS4 players spend more time playing offline than online. Documentation provided last year by Sony to a selection of developers. It is also one of them who provided these papers to our colleagues.

PS5: the “Activities” feature designed from observations of PS4 players

As part of the research conducted by Sony to find out the habits of PlayStation players (4), four issues emerged for those who practice solo games:

  • The impossibility of quantifying the time necessary to achieve a particular goal
  • Time spent searching and finding online help videos
  • How to tackle social media without taking the risk of disclosure
  • Resuming a game with difficulty re-immersing without remembering recent progress

So many points that have served, if only partially, to shape the “Activities” component of the PlayStation 5. Sony says it has designed a feature “removing obstacles to the game” . In particular, it allows you to know the time needed to complete a challenge, to start in a specific section of the game and to obtain advice without having to leave the current game.

Coming back to the observation of players more inclined to offline, it is not necessarily synonymous with good news. It can indeed encourage an even stronger proposition of post-launch paid content, or more colloquially of “kit” games, focused on an experience that does not require people to surround themselves with other players. In the light of this study, open-world, multi-point-of-interest games are also not set to be phased out anytime soon.

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