Most gamers in the know have been following the heated fight between Sony and Microsoft for second place in the core gaming market. Sony has been in a losing fight and just recently the company expects $6.4 billion in losses, as reported by the New York Times.
Well, even though the company is reeling financially, Sony still has time to file patents for very odd things...such as " Coordinating real-world gatherings to promote an online community". Isn't that like PAX, Blizzcon, QuakeCon or every other digital-oriented real-world convention?
This off-beat news piece comes courtesy of Krypton Radio who details the patent from Sony Computer Entertainment who originally filed way back in October 2010, where they list the following nugget of info from the recent discovery...
Coordinating real-world gatherings to promote an online community, the method including: encouraging participants of the online community to participate in a real-world gathering by providing incentives for the participants; promoting familiarity among the participants by providing and introducing online community titles of the participants at the real-world gathering; and providing online benefits or rewards to the participants for participating in the real-world gathering. Keywords include socializing in the real world, community building and bridging the gap between the game world and the real world.
Other than sounding like a pitch for an Augmented Reality project, it also sounds about identical to current-day conventions based on popular software IP, as mentioned at the top of the article.
According to Krypton Radio, they speculate this is possibly a "patent troll" attempt where Sony could use this to sue other people for a quick buck based on a flimsy copyright infringement claim.
The Krypton article goes into explicit detail regarding the patent application and covers every single basis of the application and how it could apply to a real-world function or purpose, and they pretty much surmise that the patent is for the "method or process of coordinating in-game promotions with real world events and meet-ups."
Nice. On a speculative note this could relate to some future initiative involving an existing product line? Perhaps a tie-in with PlayStation Home in some real-world sense or applied to a gaming convention maybe? Who knows.
In the end, what does this really mean for gamers? Absolutely diddly-squat. On the plus side at least you know that while Sony is bleeding money they're trying to find ways to patent troll. That's something, right? Right?
You can check out the full patent details and breakdown over at Krypton Radio.