It looks as though Sony may be finding an answer to Xbox's Cortana and other voice-activated assistants through something called "PlayStation Assist," according to some new patents which were recently spotted. This PlayStation Assist assistant would respond to players' requests and answer them accordingly by helping out in-game or providing more information about a topic. Details are slim regarding PlayStation Assist with only info in the patent filings to go off of, but it certainly looks like a feature that'd be planned for the PlayStation 5 if not sooner.
The patent was spotted by games industry analyst Daniel Ahmad who shared the tweet below with a brief description of what PlayStation Assist looks to be alongside some images to help illustrate how it'll work. PlayStation Assist users would utilize the assistant by speaking to it with a phrase that'd indicate the next sentence might include a question about the game, similar to how Xbox's Cortana was activated by saying "Xbox" followed by a command. A smartphone or a similar mobile device can also be used with PlayStation Assist to have information pushed to the device that'll help players in-game.
Sony has filed a new patent for an AI powered voice assistant called PlayStation Assist.
You can input a query and then the game will dynamically respond.September 29, 2019
A description of the patent detailed some ways that this PlayStation Assist might work. On a mobile device using PlayStation Assist, an image shows someone getting help with Horizon Zero Dawn. Options such as "I need help," "What do I do now?" and "Nearest Health" are things a player can select to get help with their game. A map of the place the player is in within Horizon Zero Dawn would then display the location of the health that's nearest the player. At times, the PlayStation Assist may respond to a player's request by sending information to their mobile device. One of the examples provided in the patent indicated that a player had asked about the Redmaw, a creature in the PlayStation 4 exclusive, and in turn received information about the topic which was sent to their phone.
Cortana is probably the most recognizable voice assistant associated with a console. The feature allowed Xbox One owners to communicate with their console and issue commands for certain actions, but an update released this year removed support from the console. Ubisoft has its own service like these that's called "Sam," a personal gaming assistant to help with games like the Assassin's Creed series and Rainbow Six Siege.
Expect the PlayStation Assist feature to find its way onto the PlayStation 5 if Sony moves forward with the plans, but perhaps we'll see it sooner than then.