A new patent filed by Sony hitns towards a technology that will let spectators participate in virtual reality content and mess up with VR users.
As noted by IGN, the snappily-named “Integrating Audience Participation Content into Virtual Reality Content” was filed by the PlayStation giant last October, but was first released yesterday (Thursday, January 28) and describes a process by which people not wearing virtual reality headsets would be able to change the game world for those in VR.
This sure sounds like the building blocks of some interesting multiplayer experiences and in realistic terms looks very familiar to Mix Play, which allowed viewers to impact games played by streamers on Microsoft’s Mixer service.
It is worth mentioning that patents are not products; they are just concepts that corporations have had and want to pin in so that they don’t lose out to someone else. It may never be a real-world thing, in other words.
Back in 2016, Sony launched PlayStation VR and continues to be committed to virtual reality as a technology. Games such as the newly released Hitman 3 still support PS4 VR, though patents filed in September 2020 shows that Sony might be looking at introducing inside-out tracking for upcoming hardware for PlayStation VR.
Since Sony’s debut VR headset, virtual reality has come a long way, with Valve’s Index VR and more recent offerings such as Oculus and HTC being considerably more advanced than 2016’s first modern generation of virtual reality hardware.