Sony Patent Aims To Add New Challenges To Emulated Classics

Sony Patent Aims To Add New Challenges To Emulated Classics

Streaming emulated classics to a video game console from the cloud is neat. Adding new challenges not present in those streaming classics? That’s awesome. It’s also the idea behind a recently revealed patent filed by Sony.

Originally filed in late June of 2012, just as Sony was purchasing streaming game technology company Gaikai, the “Suspending State of Cloud-Based Legacy Applications” patent filing describes a means to provide fresh content to preexisiting classic games without the need to rebuild them completely.

Finding new ways to play preexisting video games can increase the longevity of older games. Instead of replaying the same level or completing the same missions repeatedly, gamers often desire new challenges when replaying legacy games. In response to this need, game designers have begun to produce mini-games. Within a mini-game, the gamer can be instructed to complete new objectives or challenge their friends for high scores in a format that was not originally designed into the legacy game. Further, since the mini-game is derived from a legacy game, the gamer already knows the characters and basic components of the game, and is therefore more likely to play the mini-game.

IGameResponsibly, which first discovered the newly-made-public patent, calls the service “PlayStation Remix”, though no reference to that name appears in the patent document. It’s likely a reference to Nintendo’s NES Remix, which presents mini-game challenges based on classic games from the Nintendo Entertainment System.

The idea is essentially the same, only instead of creating a whole new game, developers would be able to interrupt the streaming play of say, Final Fantasy VII right before the battle with Sephiroth. Players are then presented with a challenge. Maybe they fight him with half of their hit points. Perhaps there’s a harsh time or round limit.

Mini-games often do not begin at traditional starting points that were used in the original game. For example, the mini-game may begin near the end of a level, just prior to facing a final opponent, or the boss of the level…Due to the climactic nature of fighting a boss, mini-game designers may choose to use this section of the game as their starting point. In order to make the mini-game more challenging than the original version, the game designer may also want to limit the number of lives a player may use, or change other game parameters such as the amount of health the main character has remaining

What a splendid idea. Having played all of the PlayStation games I’ve wanted to play over the past three console generations, the idea of streaming emulation is, quite frankly, a bit boring. Challenges like the ones proposed in this patent document change that, breathing new life into older title and giving players a reason to stream to their PlayStation 4 rather than track down classic games and systems or play through PC emulation. It would also be an excellent way to add trophy support to older, emulated titles.

Of course this is just a patent, and not everything you read in a patent comes to fruition. At the very least we’re getting streaming PS3, PS2 and PS1 games. At the very best, we’ll get fresh new ways to play in the process.

We’ve reached out to Sony for comment on the patent, and will update should we receive a response.



  • This a patent for a snapshot generator that works out when to display the mini games. Sounds dodgey and dumb. If you are going to use ingame challenges, surely it would be easier to actually edit the code of the original, why would you want to make a plain version for emulation, then use this weird idea to impose a duplicate edited copy of the game over the top.

    I guess if you wanted true “mini games”, ie, like tetris popping up on your screen at a certain point. I cant say I have any desire for this though.

    • “surely it would be easier to actually edit the code of the original”.

      Not to sound abrasive, but this is so far from being either plausible or easier that it boggles my mind that you would mention it.

  • A better patent sony, would be one that somehow lets me put media on my PS4 for later use or the ability to not have to buy all my movies and shows that I own on my PS3 all over again just because I upgraded.

  • Nintendo recently created an eshop game called NES Remix which takes classic nes games and modifies them into short mini games by adding new challenges. For example racing in excite bike at night time or controlling two marios in super mario bros. Its a great idea as I can play NES games that I otherwise would never bother playing but a modified collection breaths new life into otherwise dead games.

  • Why would you want to ruin great games.

    What you WOULD want to do, is take a game like Team Buddies, add more, larger arenas, allow custom toy sets, remove the timer, fix the bug that sometimes stops crates from dropping, and allow split screen & full internet multiplayer team play with the dodgeball sidelining system (if you die you come back in when a buddie is made), and allow bigger teams of buddies for the larger arenas etc.
    But I doubt they have the innovative brain power to do this. Also rip Psygnosis we will never forget you.

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