Sony patent covers adding new content to classic cloud based games

Newly published patent may hint at the company's plans for Gaikai

A newly published Sony patent reveals that the company has considered the possibility of introducing methods to add new content to classic games streamed via the cloud.


Filed last year and published this week (via NeoGAF), the patent in question is entitled 'Suspending State of Cloud-Based Legacy Applications'. It reads:

"Among other things, this application describes a method and apparatus for emulating a video game that includes generating snapshots that can be used for incorporating new content into the emulated video games."

Sony says that offering new ways to play pre-existing games can increase the longevity of said titles.

"Instead of replaying the same level or completing the same missions repeatedly, gamers often desire new challenges when replaying legacy games. In response to this need, game designers have begun to produce mini-games.

"Within a mini-game, the gamer can be instructed to complete new objectives or challenge their friends for high scores in a format that was not originally designed into the legacy game.

"Further, since the mini-game is derived from a legacy game, the gamer already knows the characters and basic components of the game, and is therefore more likely to play the mini-game."

The patent goes on to describe how developers would go about adding new content to their games:

A section [0017] In order to create mini-games without reverse engineering and recoding a game designer may rely on the use of triggers and snapshots to provide information needed for the mini-games without having to dig into the code of the legacy game. Triggers are further described in commonly assigned co-pending application Ser. No. 61/666,628 (Attorney Docket Number SCEA12004US00) filed the same day as the present application and entitled "DETERMINING TRIGGERS FOR CLOUD-BASED EMULATED GAMES".

The mini-games may be made by providing an emulator with game inputs that bring the emulated game to a certain point where the mini-game will begin. A snapshot may be generated according to aspects of the present disclosure and that point may be used as the used as the starting point in the future mini-game. Thereafter, triggers may be generated in order to provide new experiences for the game. Game designers may then develop a script and combine it with the snapshot and triggers to produce the mini-game. Therefore, in order to design mini-games in this manner, there is a need in the art for a method of quickly generating snapshots.

Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida has confirmed that cloud gaming network Gaikai will launch in North America this year, ahead of an expected European release in 2015. A number of PS3 games will be available to play on PS4 via Gaikai.