Sony Patents Alternative To Split-Screen Multiplayer

A couple of patents published recently show that Sony's looking at stereoscopic video for more than just 3D gaming; it could take the place of split-screen local multiplayer.

Broke My Controller noticed the patents, filed a year ago and published on Thursday, that show a method for rendering separate images on the same screen, which are then filtered by glasses worn by player 1 and player 2. The glasses also look like they have earbuds, meaning players get a separate audio feed, too.

Ideally this would allow both players the view of an entire screen, without either the distraction of their opponent's activity to the side, or the ability to cheat by looking at his screen to see where he is.

The drawback, of course, is you need a 3DTV. And you have to wear the glasses. But as something that's more functional than cosmetic, I could dig it.

You can see the two patents here and here. Both are .pdfs

Sony Files Two Patents Related to Stereoscopic Screen Sharing [Broke My Controller]


    Aw crap! I did this about ten years ago to play multiplayer Halo with two projectors and polarisers and a silver screen. It also let us watch two movies on the same screen, each person only saw the movie matched to their glasses. We just did it as a bit of fun, but it really does work and is cool to play multiplayer on a single screen yet still be full screen.

      quick! copyright it and sell the rights to sony!!!!! take everything fun out of split screen? Make it more like anonymous online play? I don't like this idea... half the fun of split screen is the fact that it is old fashioned and clunky.

      Hahaha, man gamers always find something to complain about, kudos sir, kudos.

        He's not complaining - his point is actually quite true and valid.

        While this is a great idea, and it certainly has a market, in my opinion nothing beats split screen couch multiplay.

        Sure it's primitive and harder to see, but there's a certain thrill to be had in the msack talk that comes with seeing exactly where your mate it as he's trying to stick behind a corner to spring out and hit you in the face wit ha shot gun.

        One of my favorite moments of multiplayer came when a friend of mine were having a "Gears and Beers" night and he had taken to hiding behind a wall for me, obviously waiting for me to come to him with a shot gun. I, of course, headed straight for him ready to chainsaw him in two with my trusty lancer.
        We sat with our backs to the wall in perfect "Face-off" style.
        I would say that i am Travolta as i am obviously better looking and more stylish.
        Anyway, i digress. I take a deep breath and swing around the pillar as he's messing with his right stick, taking his view off centre giving me the perfect oppertunity.
        My lancer lets out a mighty buzz as i round the corner for the kill... only to have my friend twitch and fire his shot gun... at the ground... where my legs are... or rather where my legs were... my torso hits the ground and i'm dead.. damn it..

        How can you beat that sort of fun?

        but that being said, this kind of thing could preserve couch multiplayer in a way, as most games seem to be leaving out split screen because they don't want to sacrifice the detail, which saddens me.

          I'm talking about an obvious advancement on something thats been unchanged in video games for years.

          Giant stories about split screen gaming aside, I very much doubt this will be something that is required by default, you're looking at a custom peripheral which will no doubt be optional, they're not so unrealistic to think that everyone will have a 3D TV and want to buy these glasses.

          and hey, c'mon buddy, 'true and valid' comments doesn't change whether a comment is a complaint or not. No use jumping down my throat about a clearly kind hearted rip on gamers in general.

            haha i think you clearly misunderstood me - i am by no means 'jumping down your throat'

            I am VERY aware this will be an optional thing (like 3d), and i'm very aware of the benefits.

            I am just saying both sides have their positives. This article highlight positives for this sort of technology, and i'm merely pointing out positives to split screen.

            So lets calm down and have a cuddle, shall we?

              I'll take that cuddle if its just going to waste :D

              This seems like a pretty cool idea, I'm just waiting for the 'government will pay to install 100" 3d tv in every household' announcement on the campaign trail. It will happen, yes?

                I think you'll get that cuddle before that plan will go into action.

    Unless I'm missing something here, wouldn't that mean you could only have two players? And aren't most split screen games four player games?

      Well you could still do 4 players, just have 2 players per 'screen', so each player gets half a screen instead of just a quarter. Would be great for team based games.

      Probably not a technology I'd have anything to do with for a few years but I quite like it.

      No, no they are not.
      Some FPS death match games maybe, but the majority of co-op-campaign games with 4 players is practically zero.

      This could be awesome, but I worry about frame rate as you're asking the GPU to render the entire scene, full screen, twice.

      I think with 3D games it's slightly easier as you could store the same vertex data but multiply it through a different matrix but if players are in different parts of a level it'd have to grab the data all over again.

      Still, if it means a 60FPS game is running at 30FPS with two people having full screen, it'd be great fun.

    I raised this point last year when I saw it on Top Gear.
    but developers should think about incorporating this.

    No crappy glasses needed !!

    I just mentioned this over at Gizmodo but since the story came from here I'll repost it here as well:

    Oh… I just had a wow moment! The potential here goes much further than just gaming (Im sure SONY is aware of this already but who knows).

    Imagine a twin tuner digital TV (or tuner box) that is able to simultaneously show 2 separate full screen TV station transmissions to two different people at the same time. Mum could be watching her cooking show, whilst Dad watches the cricket, all whilst sitting next to each other on the same couch watching the same TV. Whats the bet we see this feature in a new version of SONY’s playtv. Alternatively you could be watching two different DVD’s at the same time.

    Potentially if screen refresh rates become fast enough we might eventually see 3 or more channels being displayed at the same time on a single TV, if the TV supported say 300hz then each channel could be given 100hz of display allocated to it, then person C could be watching a third station at the same time as mum and dad.

    There’s potential here for cinemas too, mum and dad could take their kids to see a children’s movie and at the same time could be sitting beside them watching something intended for adults. Throw in some cartoons at the end of the kids movie to keep them happy whilst the adult’s movie finishes.

    You have to ask yourself though, will this impact the family unit even more than TV does already. We’ll be in the same room together in body but in our minds we’ll be in different worlds. At least at the moment we can all laugh together at the same jokes and cry when Old Yeller dies, take away that and things are looking sad.

    3D TV is here to stay, I like that Sony has been looking beyond the mere ZOMG it's in 3D, cool innovation in my opinion.

    I think this sounds awesome, and am suddenly a lot more excited that I was by 3D Tvs.

    @Graham "There’s potential here for cinemas too, mum and dad could take their kids to see a children’s movie and at the same time could be sitting beside them watching something intended for adults. Throw in some cartoons at the end of the kids movie to keep them happy whilst the adult’s movie finishes."

    I can already see kids that grow up this way reminiscing as they get older about that time they snuck wrongly-polarised lenses into the cinema and sat RIGHT NEXT to their parents watching an awesome R-rated action flick without anyone being any the wiser hah. Ah, the good old days.

      Yeah, good point even if it was tongue in cheek. Actually if it was done with circularly polarised lenses rather than LCD switching (which it would be in most cinemas) then the kid could probably just reverse their glasses around and see the other movie.

    Here is Halo multiplayer in action at Swinburne
    Also TI already showed this with their DualView setup, so I can't see Sony getting the patent.

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