The patent, which was filed in 2018 and published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this month, details how the technology can identify a generic spectator in a VR game, determine its virtual coordinates, and swap it with the avatar of a real person. Some drawings in the patent demonstrate how this would work in a racing game by swapping two spectators standing on the side of the race track. Other drawings use a basketball game as an example.
“Many video games are programmed to include generic or ‘fake’ spectators,” the patent states. “Generic spectators can make video game scenes more realistic when a video game scene is associated with a real world context in which spectators would be expected. However, as video games become more and more realistic and life-like, the aspect of generic spectators displayed within video games has not kept pace. Current generic spectators may detract from realistic and life-like video game content.”
A second Sony patent published this month details plans to lets PSVR users watch live events held in a real-world venue via virtual reality. It creates an interactive game world within a multiplayer session, then livestreams the event inside a specific location. A drawing illustrates how this technology would work for an esports event. In this example, the interactive game world mimics the usual tournament format where teams sit on a stage below three large screens displaying the competition and the audience sits opposite them. That way, PSVR users get the experience of a live esports event without actually being there.