Over the last year or so there have been an interesting range of patent filings from Sony's Playstation teams, all of which seem to point toward them at least working on a voice assistant for the Playstation 5.
From the Dualsense controller's microphone being able to pick up voice commands without the need for more hardware, to the assistant being able to answer quick questions and give the player hints, that information isn't new.
However, a new entry in that line of patent filings has emerged which gives further context to the assistant's work, and indicates that one of its functions could be to help players stay informed about how long they might be gaming for.
As that slightly obtuse flow chart indicates, the assistant could analyse a whole bunch of factors to do with the user's own playing style and the historical performance of other players to work out how long a user might have before the next save point or completed level, and let them know that fact.
This could potentially be weighed against other stored information like a TV show coming on that the user normally switches over to watch, or perhaps a known parentally-controlled screen time limitation, to help the assistant give advice in a more targeted way.
As that second image demonstrates, though, by keeping track of how players are doing, irrespective of time constraints the assistant could offer tips and hints that help them navigate the game more smoothly.
Previous whispers have suggested the assistant will be called Playstation Assist, and it'll certainly be interesting to see whether Sony implements it for the PS5 at launch this winter, and if so how much of a fuss it makes about it. While some of the features do sound useful, the same was arguably true of Cortana on the Xbox One, and that hardly panned out over time.