Microsoft Obtains Game-Related 5,000th Patent
Tech giant Microsoft has announced that it has reached a patenting milestone by logging its 5,000th patent granted in the United States over its more than 30 year history, with the milestone patent happening to pertain to the company's Xbox 360 next-gen console.
According to the company, patent no. 6,999,083 provides for technologies that allow people to not just play video games against each other online, but to join the game as a spectator from anywhere in the world. The patent, which covers technologies that is featured in Xbox 360 games, brings new innovation to online gaming by allowing consumers to tune into a video game much as they would a sporting event broadcast, according to Microsoft - a feature already preliminarily implemented in Project Gotham Racing 3 with the Gotham TV service.
More specifically, the patent deals with: "A system for generating a spectator experience in real time from a game or event, such as highlights, instant replays, and unique views of the action within a game to enhance the experience for spectators rather than players. Using viewing controls, a spectator can control one or more virtual cameras to select desired viewpoints or an automated camera control to frame the action and perform specific cuts to best convey the story and action."
The description concludes: "The game and in turn the spectator experience may vary as a function of participant interactions and other contributions to the game based on real-time spectator activity." A portal such as a Web site is also included in the patent description, intended to access spectator-related services such as schedules and information on multiple games and events, as well as the number of spectators and participants in each.