Sony Helping Players Improve By Competing Against Past Selves

Sony Interactive Entertainment may be working on a system that allows players to visually compare their current gameplay sessions with their previous ones to help them analyse their gameplay and track their progress over time, according to a recently published patent.

PlayStation Studios | Source: PlayStation
  • Sony Interactive Entertainment has recently published a patent for a system that allows players to visually compare their current gameplay sessions with their previous ones to help them analyse their gameplay and track their progress over time.
  • The system analyses biometric data and other gameplay attributes to compare them with past gameplay sessions and generates notifications for players to initiate competition against their previous sessions.
  • The system involves storing multiple datasets, each containing video footage of different gameplay sessions from a video game, along with a set of synchronisation points within each session.
  • The patent aims to enhance the gameplay experience by providing players with a powerful tool to track their progress, analyse their gameplay, and compete against their past selves.

Sony Interactive Entertainment has recently been granted a patent titled “GHOST COMPARISON MODE,” filed in September 2021 under the name of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. The patent, published last week, discusses a system for visually comparing a player’s current gameplay session with their previous gameplay sessions. The system stores past gameplay sessions with synch points and receives input from the player indicating which past session to compare. It then generates an overlay for the current gameplay session, superimposing a “ghost projection” of the past session over the current session based on the synch points. This allows the player to see the differences and similarities between their current and past performances in real time during gameplay.

Exemplary graphical user interface (GUI) in which a ghost projection of a past gameplay session is superimposed during a current gameplay session. | Source: Patent Public Search

“A method and system for providing visual comparisons to previous gameplay is disclosed. A plurality of datasets, with each dataset associated with displaying at least a part of gameplay from a past gameplay session of an interactive content title and a set of synch points within the past gameplay session is stored. An input over a communication network from a client device of a player associated with a current gameplay session is received,” reads the abstract for the patent. “The received input indicates one of the stored datasets associated with the interactive content title. An overlay for a display of the current gameplay session is generated. The overlay includes a ghost projection based on the indicated dataset. The ghost projection is superimposed over the display of a virtual environment of the current gameplay session based on the set of synch points.”

The patent aims to solve the problem of players being unable to compare their current gameplay session with their past gameplay session in real time. While presently available game data, statistics, and video recordings may show the differences between one gameplay session and another, they do not provide real-time comparisons during the current gameplay session. The patent proposes a system and method for providing a visual comparison to previous gameplay by generating an overlay in the current gameplay session that includes a ghost projection associated with a past gameplay session that aligns based on common synch points across the current and past gameplay sessions.

Sony Interactive Entertainment has been on a roll lately with its patent publications, dedicated to elevating gameplay experiences for players. Last month, we covered a patent from the company that describes a system for searching for in-game skills using gestures to help players find guidance when they are introduced to unfamiliar video games. These patents offer the necessary support to enhance players’ abilities and dynamically adjust the virtual environment, catering to players’ individual preferences and skills. The latest patent aligns with this goal, offering a powerful tool for players to analyse their gameplay and track their progress over time, leading to skill enhancement.

According to the patent’s claims, the system compares current gameplay to previous gameplay in a video game. The method involves storing video recordings and synchronisation data from past gameplay sessions, receiving input from a player’s device indicating which past gameplay session they want to compare to their current gameplay session, generating an overlay on the current gameplay display that shows a “ghost” projection of the selected past gameplay session, and synchronising the projection with the current gameplay session based on matching synchronization data. Additionally, the system includes the ability to generate a display of game options that allow the player to compete against a past gameplay session. The patent also specifies that at least one of the video game options is associated with a milestone in the video game.

Flowchart illustrating an exemplary method for providing visual comparisons to previous gameplay. | Source: Patent Public Search

Furthermore, the system includes features to track and compare a player’s performance and progress over time. It can compare “speed, points earned, complexity in gameplay, biometric data measurements taken during gameplay, or any kinds of quantifiable comparison between the two sessions that can distinguish the gameplay of the two sessions” from current and past gameplay sessions to show differences. The patent doesn’t clearly state the specific biometric data that it is referring to as it only mentions “external factors” without providing further details. In addition, the system can also generate a notification with metrics from past gameplay sessions and give the option to compete against them. This notification is based on analysing the player’s recent gameplay sessions. The patent’s provisions for generating displays of game options and notifying players of metrics are particularly exciting, as they provide players with more opportunities to engage with their gameplay and improve their performance over time.

It’s worth noting that this is currently just a patent and not a product or feature confirmed for development. While it remains to be seen how Sony Interactive Entertainment will implement this patent in its future games, if at all, the company’s commitment to enhancing the gaming experience is clear. Earlier this year, the company published a patent for a system that could dynamically adjust the difficulty of an online multiplayer video game session between players based on their actual geographic locations through a physical activity rating associated with in-game objectives. With this recent patent, players can look forward to more engaging and immersive gameplay experiences in the future.

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