In recent years, video gaming has faced criticism for fostering sedentary behavior, given that players often find themselves glued to their seats, controller in hand, for long hours. Sony Interactive Entertainment's new patent (US20230293999A1) seeks to address just this problem, proposing a solution that encourages physical activity while still offering an engaging gaming experience on the Sony PlayStation 5.
The patent explicitly details two main problems that are currently faced by gamers - prolonged physical inactivity leading to fitness issues, and a lack of distinctiveness in contributing to the gameplay, particularly for multi-player games. In a not so distant past, the sense of enthusiasm and engagement in video games, although diverse in content and form, was standardized by how every player inputs commands through a controller, a mouse or a keyboard. This lack of uniqueness, alongside the rising concerns of obesity and fitness problems, acted as a roadblock in the overarching growth of the gaming community.
Sony’s patent, titled 'Game Input System and Method,' faces these problems head-on by integrating activity data from a user's physical effort and incorporating it into the gaming experience. This new mode of game input not only provides a way to foster physical activity but may also unlock exclusive elements in the game, offering an innovative route for gamers who seek unique contributions in their gaming experience.
In the post-patent world, consider a scenario where someone in your house chooses to log an early morning jog. As they hit their fitness goals, the game might spice things up for the gamer at home. The weather in the game might change to reflect the sunny morning outside, or they might find some new power perks unlocked in their game due to the physical activity recorded.
This proposed idea broadens the horizon for PlayStation gamers and sets a paradigm shift in the gaming industry's approach to promoting fitness. It facilitates a fresh symbiotic relationship between real-world physical activity and on-screen gaming, making video games a more interactive and health-conscious past time.
As we marvel at this inventive approach, we should still keep in mind that this is, after all, a patent, and it does not confirm that such a feature will appear in any future product. As precise and exciting as the Figures provided along with the patent document might be, drawing up a real-world scenario right now is an exercise of speculation.
P.S. Despite the novel and impressive solution proposed by this patent, it's important to remember that the journey from patent to product is long and complex. While the idea certainly holds promise, we can't say for sure whether or how soon we might see such a feature in the market.