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(Pocket-lint) - If Valve's latest patent is anything to go by, then the company may be working on a new feature to let gamers dive into games before they've even downloaded. 

Pavel Djundik, the creator of the SteamDB site which tracks all things Steam-related has spotted a recent patent by Valve which hints at things to come. 

That patent suggests that Valve is trying to make an Instant Play system similar to that available on Xbox and PlayStation that would enable gamers to jump into a game before it's fully downloaded.  

Elsewhere this sort of system allows gamers to access parts of a game when they're especially keen to get playing. EA has been doing something like it with Origin for a while now. That system will let you play some games when a certain percentage has been downloaded. 

The Valve patent talks about pre-fetching game data while it's downloading which will help with latency and freeing up space as well. One interesting highlight is the proposal also won't require game developers to do anything, so it should work with any game. 

There's no official word from Valve on this just yet, but it still points to an interesting highlight for the future. 

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Writing by Adrian Willings. Originally published on 22 September 2021.
  • Source: Tracking file system read operations for instant play of video games, and for client-side discarding and prefetching of game data - freepatentsonline.com
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