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Valve Patent “Instant Play”, Allows Players To Play Games Before Completing Download

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instant play

Recent reports state that Valve will allow its steam users to play their purchased games while they are downloading with the feature called “Instant Play”. A similar feature was employed on the consoles earlier but it has never been employed on Steam. For instance, the PS4 has a feature that allows you to play the game as and when the download reaches a particular point.

The reason being an older implementation which Valve ignored in the past. However, there are no updates on the time that when it will be released.

What does the Patent says?

Talking about the patent, it has revealed some basic points about the feature. Reading the patent’s abstract, you will get a clear image. It said, “This telemetry approach allows the remote system to collect access data reported by multiple client machines, to catalog the access data according to client system configuration, and to analyze the access data to generate data that is usable by client machines to implement various game-related features including, without limitation, “instant play” of video games, discarding of unused blocks of game data to free up local memory resources, and/or local prefetching of game data for reducing latency during gameplay,”

Gaben Valve

‘Instant Play’ feature

The creator of SteamDB Pavel Djundik gave a hint to us through his Twitter. He tweeted something related to “instant play” which shows that they are working on it. Djundik explained the mechanism and said that you can play the game before it gets fully download. You will be able to play only some parts of the game like a tutorial, character customization, and some entry points. However, if you hit any wall while playing it means that the game is downloading further. Therefore, this is the outstanding feature they are trying to install.

Adding to this, Djundik also explained another benefit of this feature. According to him, this feature will also help in “freeing up space by removing unused data, and prefetching data to decrease latency when loading.” Moreover, this is just going to be an application to the game so the game developers have nothing to do with it.

However, Valve has been trying to reconstruct Steam bit by bit. But, till now, it has not announced any plan for the implementation of the feature described in the patent. All these new updates and features sound exciting and will make gaming more interesting. Although Steam has become very popular in gaming, it is still working on its key areas to improve and that’s incredible.


I am Pallavi Dixit from Kaithal, Haryana. I have completed my schooling from DPS Kaithal and am now pursuing BA (Hons) in Political Science from SGTB Khalsa College

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