New PlayStation patent suggests a future where viewers could play with …

By Alex Calvin, Friday January 29, 2021 17:34 GMT

But whether this will happen is another matter.

A new patent filed by Sony shows technology that will allow viewers to participate in virtual reality content.

As reported by IGN, the aptly named ‘Integration of audience participation content into virtual reality content’ was filed by giant PlayStation last October, but was first released yesterday (Thursday, January 28) and details a method by which people not wearing virtual reality headsets will be able to change the game world for those in VR.

It really looks like the building blocks of some interesting multiplayer experiences, and – in practical terms – is quite similar to Mix Play, which allowed viewers to have an impact on the games streamers on Microsoft’s Mixer service were playing.

It should be noted that patents are not products; these are just ideas that companies have had and want to lock in so they don’t lose out to someone else. In other words, it might never be a real world thing.

Sony launched PlayStation VR in 2016 and appears to be committing to virtual reality as a technology. Games like the recently released Hitman 3 still support VR on PS4, while patents filed in September 2020 suggest Sony may consider introducing reverse tracking for future PlayStation VR hardware.

Virtual reality has come a long way since Sony’s first VR headset, with Valve’s Index VR and the more recent offerings from Oculus and HTC being considerably more advanced than the first modern wave of VR hardware of 2016.

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