Valve is making some very interesting updates on Steam, which has drawn everyone’s attention to the feature that allows users to play while downloading the game itself. This feature is disclosed in a developer patent.
The previous patent was filed in March 2020 and it wasn’t until recently that SteamDB founder Pavel Djundik was able to discover and share the most interesting content of the patent on Twitter.
Essentially, Steam is building a system that tracks data reads made by a given game’s exe file, describing what and how often the data is being accessed. The developer will then use this telemetry to prioritize the loading of certain files to allow users to start playing without having to wait for the game to finish loading.
The same technology can also help Steam delete unused files without compromising data integrity, such as when a user needs to free up space. Valve explains that the new technology can even support pre-loading of certain files to reduce loading lag.
This type of aerial system is completely new. Playing while downloading data is one of the most prominent features of PS4 and Xbox One. Today, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S also use the same technology.
In fact, Valve tried a similar system in 2015, when Mortal Kombat 10 came out, the system split the data to load into small parts, but this method failed and caused some problems when playing Mortal Kombat 10.