For PlayStation VR owners, watching eSports might soon be a more immersive experience. A couple of just-published patents by Sony might allow PSVR users to spectate live events and insert avatars of their friends into games.
Filed in 2017 and 2018, respectively, the two patents were published just last week. The first one illustrates a way for owners of Sony's VR headset to virtually join a live event — and not just join, but be there. The proposed feature would anchor spectators to a physical location in the venue to virtually spectate and feel as though they're really there, participating in the event, crowd and all.
The second patent, on the other hand, would allow players to turn their friends into NPC crowds so they can spectate as the user players their games. "Generic spectators" don't quite match the realism of other elements in current-generation gaming, Sony stated in the patent, and it wants to populate NPC crowds with pals for "a more entertaining and engaging experience."
The patent goes on to explain that the avatars can be anything from "life-like representations" to an avatar friends choose to represent them. They'll be able to spectate in real-time via VR or through "pre-programmed clips."
There's also this patent where, if a person on-stage throws a gift, the PSVR users can use motion controllers to catch it. Naturally, that gift gets converted into VR items, although the patent describes how this could be things such as a T-shirt that's actually mailed to the player, avatar costumes, discount coupons, and more.
The Thing About Patents
Suppose they do get released, the final product could be different from what's originally described in the patents.
Finally, patents could also be filed just for the sake of being "first" to officially claim an idea, preventing others from duplicating and making money off it.
Siliconera argues that it's extremely doubtful that the patents will come into use. Still, it shows that Sony is seeking ways to combine its VR technology to provide a more immersive communal experience for players around the globe, and allow them to engage in the eSports space, which right now is one of the most lucrative markets online.
The ideas are neat and fascinating, but again, there's no telling when they might come, assuming they come at all.