Patent published on December 28, 2023

New Technology Could Make Video Games Easier on the Eyes: Sony Patents Solution for Uncomfortable Flashing Lighting

In a world driven by rapidly advancing technology, it is always impressive to see innovative solutions addressing real-life problems. One such solution has been recently patented by Sony Interactive Entertainment, a leading company in the gaming industry. The patent, with the title "DATA PROCESSING APPARATUS AND METHOD" and number US20230415039A1, aims to improve the visual experience of digital content, specifically video games, by addressing the issue of uncomfortable flashing lighting.

While flashing lighting in video games can add drama and immersion, it may prove troublesome for some users, causing discomfort and reducing their overall enjoyment. Certain flash rates, ranging from 3 to 60 flashes per second, can be particularly problematic. To tackle this problem, Sony's patent introduces a novel approach.

The core idea behind the patent is to adjust the brightness of different parts of the video game to make them more similar, resulting in a clearer and easier-to-see video. By reducing the flash rate, the patent ensures that users still experience the same frame rate but with a slower flashing of lighting. This adjustment greatly improves user comfort without compromising their enjoyment of the video game.

To achieve this, the patent relies on analyzing consecutive sets of frames and adjusting the average pixel brightness, focusing solely on the frames that may cause discomfort due to flashing lighting. This method allows for a smooth transition between consecutive sets of frames while suppressing the increase in processing burden. By selectively performing pixel brightness adjustments on specific pixels within each frame, the original appearance of the video is preserved as much as possible, while simultaneously alleviating user discomfort.

Imagine a gamer playing an intense action game on the Sony PlayStation 5 (PS5) equipped with this innovative technology. During an intense battle scene, the game showcases dynamic lighting effects, such as flashes of lightning or failing building lights. Thanks to Sony's patented solution, the flashing lighting is adjusted to be less uncomfortable for users. The average pixel brightness is carefully controlled, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable gaming experience while minimizing any potential discomfort caused by flashing lighting.

The patent also offers users flexibility and convenience by allowing them to enable or disable the adjustment of average pixel brightness. This way, users who experience discomfort can enable the feature, while others who do not face such issues can observe visual content as intended by the creator.

It is important to note that being a patent, there is no certainty whether this technology will make its way into the market or become a feature of future Sony gaming consoles. However, it is a remarkable step towards enhancing the overall gaming experience, especially for individuals sensitive to certain visual stimuli.

In conclusion, Sony Interactive Entertainment's patent addresses the problem of uncomfortable flashing lighting in video games, aiming to provide users with a clearer and more enjoyable experience. By adjusting the average pixel brightness and reducing the flash rate, this technology ensures that users can immerse themselves in the game without any discomfort. Though the patent's future application remains uncertain, it highlights Sony's commitment to continuously advancing the gaming industry and improving user experiences.

P.S. It is important to note that this article discusses a patent granted to Sony Interactive Entertainment and there is no surety whether this technology will appear on the market or be implemented in future products.

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