- Sony Interactive Entertainment has recently published a patent for a technology that uses a mobile device’s camera and sensors to track the player’s movements and adjust the gameplay perspective accordingly.
- The patent suggests that this technology could make video games more accessible to players with low-end hardware by mitigating some of the hardware restrictions that make it difficult to play graphically demanding video games.
- The technology has a third-person mode in landscape orientation and a first-person mode in portrait orientation to adapt the player’s image to, where one mode has a zoom feature, and the other mode does not.
- The technology is not limited to mobile devices only and can be applied to various devices, including computers, laptops, and video game consoles.
Sony Interactive Entertainment recently received a patent titled, “ADAPTIVE RENDERING OF GAME TO CAPABILITIES OF DEVICE,” filed in September 2022 under the name of SONY INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT INC. The patent, published yesterday, discusses a technology for adapting the rendering of video games to the capabilities of the device being used, such as a mobile phone or a video game controller. This is achieved by identifying the orientation of the device and presenting the video game in different modes, such as first-person or third-person perspectives, based on the orientation. The technology can also transform the image of a player in the game based on the orientation of the device.
“An input device (300) such as a cell phone or computer game controller being held in a portrait versus a landscape orientation is used (218) to select different computer game modes, such as zooming, switching between first and third person perspectives, etc.,” reads the abstract for the patent. According to the patent, the technology aims to improve the user experience of playing video games on different devices. More specifically, the patent addresses the challenge of presenting computer simulations, such as video games, on mobile devices in a way that is optimised for the device’s capabilities, considering factors such as screen orientation and device type. By doing so, the patent aims to provide a better user experience and reduce issues such as motion sickness that can arise from playing video games on devices that are not optimised for the video game’s rendering.
As video games advance rapidly, players find it increasingly difficult to keep up with the growing hardware demands. For instance, the newly released Hogwarts Legacy requires at least an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti for an optimal gameplay experience, leaving lower-end hardware unable to keep up. This trend is expected to continue, as it is rumoured that The Last of Us Part I will require at least an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2070 for a solid 1080p 60 FPS experience, which becomes even steeper with higher resolutions. While these games are among the most graphically advanced, this raises concerns among players who do not have access to high-end hardware but still desire a visually pleasing gameplay experience. However, Sony Interactive Entertainment appears to address this concern with the newly patented technology.
According to the patent’s claims, the technology encapsulates a method that involves identifying the orientation of a mobile phone, displaying a computer simulation on the phone, and controlling the simulation based on the phone’s orientation, including controlling the simulation based on the type of device the mobile phone is. Additionally, the technology involves transforming an image of a player in the simulation based on the phone’s orientation using the phone’s camera. This can be done using the camera on the phone to detect whether it is being held in a portrait or landscape orientation. When the phone is turned, the player’s image in the video game will also match the new orientation. This feature can help make the gameplay experience more immersive for the player by allowing them to see the in-game world from different perspectives depending on how they hold their phone.
Furthermore, the same method would apply to video game controllers, as the patent states, “The apparatus of Claim 4, wherein the input device comprises a computer simulation controller.” The patent also mentions that the simulation can be presented in third-person mode when the phone is in landscape orientation and in first-person mode when the phone is in portrait orientation. One of these modes may have a zoom feature, while the other mode may not. This means the gameplay perspective will change based on the phone’s orientation, making the experience more engaging and user-friendly.
It is worth noting that while the examples in the patent refer to mobile devices such as cell phones and video game controllers, the patent abstract and summary describe a method and system for adapting the rendering of a computer simulation, such as a video game, to the capabilities of the rendering device. This means the technology can be applied to various devices, including computers, laptops, and video game consoles. The patent also mentions a “wireless telephone” as one of the devices that could potentially make of this technology. ” The apparatus of Claim 4, wherein the input device comprises a wireless telephone,” it claims. However, it is unclear exactly what “wireless telephone” refers to in this case, as the patent does not elaborate further.
It is currently unclear if this patent will become a reality, as it is still in the patent stage. However, if it does come to fruition, it could potentially offer players a more engaging and interactive experience when playing their favourite video games on their mobile devices. Additionally, the patent hints at Sony Interactive Entertainment’s intention to make video games more accessible to players with varying levels of hardware by reducing the hardware limitations that make it difficult to play high-quality games on lower-end devices. Ultimately, only time will reveal if and how this technology will be integrated into the company’s current and future video game franchises.
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