Patent number 8556715 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Multiplayer network games have been around for a long time. Currently, many games, including both personal computer (PC) games and video console games (e.g., games run on game consoles such as Sony PlayStation.RTM., PSP.RTM., Nintendo Wii.RTM., DS.RTM., and Microsoft Xbox.RTM.), support at least one network mode or online-mode which allows multiple players to play in the same game environment at the same time over a network. In fact, some games are designed to be played online only. Games that can be played over a network or online can be found in almost all popular genres of videogames including, but not limited to, shooter (e.g., first-person and third-person), fighting, action-adventure, racing, sports, rhythm (e.g., music), strategy, and role-playing games (RPG). When playing in the online-mode, players can choose to play either in a competitive mode or a co-op mode, depending on the particular game. Typically, to initiate a game, each player logs onto a central server hosting the game on a network from their respective PCs or game consoles. For some games, the central game server may also provide a pairing service to allow players to find playing partners. A game session may start after all participating players have successfully joined and been authenticated by the server. Alternatively, some games allow players to join an ongoing game session after the game has already started.
"Having an online mode is usually an advantage for most video games. Not only does it allow multiple gamers to play with or against each other in the same game session, it does so without requiring that they be in the same physical location or sharing the same display. With adequate network speed, gamers at different physical locations can battle each other in a game in real time as if they are sitting next to each other and playing the game from the same PC or game console. In fact, it is not uncommon to have players located in different parts of the world engaging each other in an online game session.
"However, the online mode of most if not all currently available video games does not usually differ significantly from the corresponding local multi-players mode, except that in the local mode, the players typically share a screen divided into different windows, one for each player. That is, video games have traditionally been designed so that, in their multiplayer mode (local or online), every player shares the same virtual environment in which the game is being played. In particular, the visual appearances and movements of the characters and the visualization of the virtual environment of the game would appear the same to all players playing synchronously in the same game session. This may provide a level of consistency in the gaming experience among the different players. Nevertheless, there are inherent problems with presenting the same visualization of the game to all players, who in real life may be very different from one another, although they are participating in the same game session.
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