There seems to be a chance that PlayStation's Game Help will become more than just occasionally useful.
Consult a Game Expert When You're Stuck
VGC noticed that Sony Interactive Entertainment filed a patent in the US in late April, which details a method of gaming assistance wherein game experts would be available on-call for you to contact whenever you need help with in-game challenges.
Here's the idea: you're playing a game, and run into a particularly difficult level or boss battle. Don't fret, you can request for help from an expert while playing on your PlayStation or through the official mobile app.
Under this system, players may be invited to register as a game expert based on their ability and achievements. But what's in it for them? Sony says it'll offer content exclusive to experts that are unique to the game in question (e.g. items, quests, Trophies, etc.).
Experts will be able to indicate whether or not they are currently "available" to provide help, presumably in a similar fashion to Slack or Discord statuses. When you send a request, it'll be sent to the available experts that the system believes can best assist you.
Sony pitches a couple of different ways that expert help could be implemented. In one example, Sony compares the process of matching players to experts to hailing an Uber, in that it's "configured for providing live help sessions."
In order to connect the player to an expert who can help, critical data about the player's current session is captured, such as quest, level, loadout, location, skills, etc. The player is then paired with an expert who ideally has already beaten that part of the game, and ideally who did it with a similar configuration.
During the help session, the expert may offer help via text, voice, and/or video. You can also toggle a spoiler flag to tell the expert to be careful not to spoil you on upcoming game sequences or story beats.
Sony also says expert help could be provided through recorded sessions instead of live ones—you'd send in a query and some game context with your request. These sessions could be rated based on player feedback, which would assist the matching algorithm.
Is Sony Levelling Up Its Game Help?
The PlayStation 5 currently has Game Help, which lets you access helpful videos through activity cards for certain game sequences that are giving you a hard time. Unfortunately, it's only available for a select few titles.
Should the idea outlined in the patent become a reality, we think it'd be a great way to keep players from getting discouraged and giving up on their games.