Cloud gaming seems to be the next big thing for Sony and Microsoft. Subscription services like PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass allow players to download or stream hundreds of titles to their console or PC. It also opens the door to the possibility of bringing console and PC-quality games to mobile devices.

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However, both companies need to overcome some hurdles before that potential can be turned into reality. It looks like Sony is at least taking some steps in that direction. The electronics giant recently filed a patent for a system designed to reduce lag and data loss during streaming on mobile devices.

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Sony’s patent is one of many to improve the experience of cloud gaming in general and 5G streaming in particular. As the patent document states, there are several problems unique to mobile connections. Connection speeds drop as more users get to the nearest wireless tower, and transient loss or connection slowdown may occur when transitioning from one wireless tower to another. While these slowdowns may seem small, they can be significant considering the amount of data cloud gaming requires. There is also the issue of data loss if the user goes out of range, enters a tunnel, or otherwise loses his internet connection. It can also be difficult for players to know when they are entering an outage zone.

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Android phone with PlayStation controller

Sony’s latest cloud gaming patent describes a “Preemptive Loss Correction Module” aimed at mitigating these issues. The module in question is a system within the more extensive cloud gaming network that attempts to predict potential connection issues and take steps to minimize their impact on the player’s gaming experience. This includes a data gathering module to develop an outage map. Sony’s network will then check the user’s location to determine if they may be experiencing slowdowns or loss of connection.

The patent then describes how the system can use this early warning to reduce data loss and latency issues in a variety of ways. These include notifying the player of potential network problems and adjusting game performance to account for expected lag. Such adjustments may include reducing the bandwidth of the signal to increase the effective speed of the connection. In more severe cases, the Preemptive Loss Correction Module can pause the player’s play until he or she can get a more stable connection. Sony’s system will also automatically save the player’s game if a dropped connection seems probable.

Damage correction module can only manage so much. Sony’s patent does not claim it will prevent lost connections, and there is little Sony can do to directly upgrade existing infrastructure. However, assuming Sony’s As the system works as intended, it can significantly improve the performance of games streamed on mobile devices.

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