PS4′s PlayGo system explained by Sony’s Mark Cerny

Wednesday, 24th April 2013 16:07 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Sony’s lead system architect and hardware wizard Mark Cerny, has delved into the innards of PS4 as well as PlayGo which allows users to download games and start playing them before the download is finished.

According to Cerny, with PlayGo, PS4 owners will only have to download part of the game’s data in order to the play it. The rest of the title will continue to install on your system as PS4 copies data from the Blu-ray disc onto your hard drive. PlayGo is basically “two separate linked systems.”

“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,” Cerny told Gamasutra.

“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.”

The system also supports zlib decompression which will allow developers to compress game data which will them be decoded by PS4 automatically.

Background downloads are also handled by a second custom chip which puts PS4 into low-power mode, making it more “green.”

“We have the ability to turn off the main power in the system and just have power to that secondary custom chip, system memory, and I/O — hard drive, Ethernet,” Cerny explained.

“So that allows background downloads to happen in a very low power scenario. We also have the ability to shut off everything except power to the RAMs, which is how we leave your game session suspended.”

It’s a rather interesting read, so you should really head through the link. In it, Cerny also says PS4 will have a “stronger line-up than any prior PlayStation hardware.”

He doesn’t go into detail on it though, as he can’t divulge the number of launch titles, so just take his word for it I reckon.

Thanks, OPM.



  1. No_PUDding

    I may or may not be paraphrasing, but the bigger news of that article for me is when he says.

    “We’ll have more launch games than EVA!”

    Of course a metric you can trust. It’s not like someone says that for every platform.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Djoenz

    WTF I thought this was for Downloadable games of PSN/SEN, not all games like blurays….

    Why do I have to install full games even from Blurays on my damn HDD WHY?!

    Well I suppose this PlayGo system makes it easier to delete games (I dont play anymore), but when I do want to play them again just reinstall them.

    What a nuisance… PFFF..

    #2 2 years ago
  3. DrDamn

    Optical media is rubbish for playing games from. It hasn’t kept pace with other tech. Only really useful as a delivery system.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Stephany Nunneley

    @1 Yeah I read that too. But how many times has that been said only to be a disappointment – plus, numbers are subjective. One might think 10 is a lot; others may feel 100 would be a more applicable number.

    To me it’s just willy waving.

    I dunno why I am even saying all this as I forgot whatever witticism I felt compelled to share. Carry on. Ignore me. :p

    #4 2 years ago
  5. DrDamn

    He did say “stronger” rather than bigger with regards launch line up. Stronger is not necessarily more. You could also argue previous hardware design has stymied PS launches. :). Lots of interesting stuff in that interview though.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Djoenz


    I dont want to purchase an additional bigger HDD to replace my basic HDD (whatever size it will have)to have extra room.

    320 GB is like 16 games perhaps not to mention apps and what not. Some people even install movies,pics and music.

    Basic HDD 500 gb? I doubt it tbh that would increase retail price.

    Optical media for me is not rubbish. Loading times arent that big of a deal to me.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DrDamn

    I don’t think there is much difference in price between 320 and 500 these days. Besides they could just use a portion for caching current games rather than installing everything.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Djoenz

    I hope so man. I might be quick to jump to conclusions, but I guess I was misinformed.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. monkeygourmet


    I expect there will be a bigger launch than usual. Only reason being there will be so many cross platform titles.

    Battlefield 4
    AC 4
    COD Ghosts
    Maybe GT6
    Diablo 3

    There must be about 10 – 15 games listed for 360/PS3 & nextgen this year and early next year, I expect that will ‘pad out’ both next gen launches.

    Then coupled with a few new titles, it should be a pretty big launch.

    Weather thats enough if you already own a 360/PS3 is a matter of perspective I guess.

    It will be good to see digital foundry on games like Destiny / COD Ghosts – PS3 vs. PS4.

    For people into FIFA / COD, there may be very little reason to drop £399 for a good year or so yet…

    #9 2 years ago
  10. xino

    still requires disc installation.

    seriously man!?
    the reason why I like console over pc is the fact that I don’t HAVE to install games.

    why is this a normality?
    i might as well just get a damn pc if I wanna install games>:/

    #10 2 years ago
  11. DrDamn

    FIFA fans no, as EA always gimp the first release on a new console. CoD and BF fans – yeah I can see a fair number wanting to play the best console versions. One that takes better advantage of their 1080p TV sets.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DrDamn

    What advantage does not installing have? Immediacy on purchase and disk space management. Immediacy on purchase is already covered by new designs. Disk management – moot when you consider the first point. If you can reinstall something again without noticing it then there is no problem clearing it off the disk to make room for something new is there? The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages IMO.

    What is the PS4 coming with? 6x Bluray? 3 times faster than PS3. But with up to 14x the memory to fill. It’s really not practical to continue with optical media in that way.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. salarta

    Strongest launch lineup in the firm’s history! Let me fantasize about the possible games, none of which are going to happen but would be nice if they could.

    Legend of Dragoon 2
    Valkyria Chronicles 4, or VC3 brought to the West on console
    Anarchy Reigns 2
    Vanquish 2
    Saints Row 4
    A Chrono series game WITHOUT Toriyama involved at all
    A SaGa Frontier game in the same vein as the PS1 game
    Bushido Blade!
    Soul Calibur VI with all the old cast back, or else a new game starring all the old cast that gets called SCV to replace the current SCV
    Moar .hack, preferably with Pi included
    Suikoden VI!
    Metal Gear Solid 5
    Silent Hill 5, back to being survival horror
    Parasite Eve 3, making 3rd Birthday noncanon
    Devil May Cry 5
    A Final Fantasy 4 sequel that either completely redoes FF4:TA or makes it noncanon
    Final Fantasy 15 as an actual Final Fantasy game
    Resident Evil 7 starring Jill and Claire
    A major Tomb Raider game starring the proper Lara, recent game not tied in in any way

    And I’m probably missing some, but that’ll do for now. :)

    #13 2 years ago
  14. polygem

    ^no new medievil for either vita or ps4 and i will cry like a baby

    #14 2 years ago
  15. ClubCyberia


    “Resident Evil 7 starring Jill and Claire”

    For some reason when I read that I immediately included Ada as well and pictured the game as a FFX-2/Resident Evil crossover. I’m ashamed that I dreamed that up and more ashamed that I’d play it :/

    #15 2 years ago
  16. salarta

    @15: I’d take that for a spinoff title, but RE7, no. :P I think that RE7 should star Jill and Claire, mainly because they were left out of RE6 despite clearly deserving to be a major part of the game. As such, I also think that maybe with the sole exception of Sherry, nobody that was in RE6 should appear in RE7 even as a cameo. If RE6 had been just a typical installment of the franchise, then their exclusion wouldn’t have been an issue for me, same way it didn’t matter that Claire wasn’t in RE4. Making RE6 into this big important tribute game for its anniversary, then completely leaving out Jill and Claire (especially after treating the characters poorly in RE5 and Degeneration) but putting in Ada and Sherry and Chris and Leon, makes me feel that RE7 needs to make up for Jill and Claire’s exclusion from RE6 by putting all the emphasis on them.

    And realistically, I can envision a story for an RE7 starring Jill and Claire that I believe would be a shitton better than these games so heavily focused on Chris and Leon. We have Jill, a recent victim of Wesker’s body control that will no doubt have to deal with that trauma, and we have Claire, by all accounts a civilian but with some skill of her own and all the right sources and connections. To me, that seems like it has a lot of fresh potential story-wise that Chris and Leon don’t possess. And I’m not saying that Chris and Leon “suck” by any means, only that I think there’s too much obsession with them at Capcom and it’s time to try things with Jill and Claire again. After all, Revelations was apparently (I say apparently because I have not played it yet, but will soon) a masterpiece far better received than RE6, and that was only a spinoff sidegame for a portable device.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. SlayerGT

    Jesus. I think its safe to say, that while it may NOT be the most powerful or latest tech-e, the PS4 will be the most bad ass computer ever built..for gaming I mean.


    #17 2 years ago

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