One of PlayStation 4's innovations is the ability for players to play a game while they are downloading or installing it. Sony calls this feature PlayGo and in a recent interview with Gamasutra, PS4's lead architect Mark Cerny explained how it all works.
"The concept is you download just a portion of the overall data and start your play session, and you continue your play session as the rest downloads in the background." Furthermore, Cerny revealed that PlayGo "is two separate linked systems," with one allowing the ability to play if a game is downloading and the other for when the game is installing from the Blu-Ray drive.
"So, what we do as the game accesses the Blu-ray disc, is we take any data that was accessed and we put it on the hard drive. And if then if there is idle time, we go ahead and copy the remaining data to the hard drive. And what that means is after an hour or two, the game is on the hard drive, and you have access, you have dramatically quicker loading... And you have the ability to do some truly high-speed streaming," Cerny explained.
Another way the the PS4 team is helping boost the performance of games on Blu-Ray is using a type of compression called zlib for the data on the disc. This will assist in the console's on-the-fly decoding of disc-based games. "As a minimum, our vision is that our games are zlib compressed on media," stated Cerny.
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