PlayStation patents tech that could introduce mini-games in TV ads

Documents show Dual Shock 3, PS Move and PS Eye interacting with commercials

Sony has filed a patent for "methods, systems, and computer programs for converting television commercials into interactive network video games".


The patent filing, which was unearthed by GameNMotion, details a scenario in which broadcasted or streamed adverts include an interactive mini-game that can be played simultaneously with other viewers.

"A media player coupled to the broadcast or streaming media source identifies the existence of the interactive segment and presents the user with an enhanced and interactive mini-game commercial that can be played with other "viewers" in a common or disperse demographic," reads the document.

"Multiple methods for content delivery are provided, including a model where television commercial is inserted within consecutive frames of the television program, and a model where the commercial is overlaid on frames of the television program allowing the user to play the game while the television program is displayed. In a preferred embodiment, the termination of the interactive mini-game commercial is set within a fixed time period commensurate with traditional spot television advertising."

Images accompanying the patent show the Dual Shock 3, PlayStation Move and PlayStation Eye interfacing with video content delivery services such as YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, ESPN and Facebook through consoles and TV. Users are invited to throw pickles at a burger to speed up a commercial, control race cars and interact using voice commands.

Although the pictures show a PlayStation 3 it's likely the technology will be included in Sony's next-generation hardware. PlayStation Group CEO Andrew House recently said it won't show the PS4 until it can demonstrate 'a significant leap'.

During Gamescom EA Labels president Frank Gibeau claimed to have seen Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 first hand, but didn't provide any details on either.

In March, sources claimed PS4 is codenamed Orbis and will be released during the holiday 2013 season.