Friday, July 29, 2005

Is this the controller?








This is a really interesting patent (found by VIEWTIFULGX991 on this Nintendo forum thread, as well as Luigi2 commenting on my last post). Here´s the abstract:
A graphics system including a custom graphics and audio processor produces exciting 2D and 3D graphics and surround sound. The system includes a graphics and audio processor including a 3D graphics pipeline and an audio digital signal processor. The graphics system has a graphics processor includes an embedded frame buffer for storing frame data prior to sending the frame data to an external location, such as main memory. The embedded frame buffer is selectively configurable to store the following pixel formats: point sampled RGB color and depth, super-sampled RGB color and depth, and YUV (luma/chroma). Graphics commands are provided which enable the programmer to configure the embedded frame buffer for any of the pixel formats on a frame-by-frame basis.

It´s mainly concerned with technical stuff about graphics signals (as far as I can make out). But it must concern the Revolution, because it was filed in March and the controllers shown are wireless. Here´s the detailed description of the image referred to as Figure 1 (the reference numbers denote the resepctive components as shown in the image).

FIG. 1 shows an example interactive 3D computer graphics system 50. System 50 can be used to play interactive 3D video games with interesting stereo sound. It can also be used for a variety of other applications.

In this example, system 50 is capable of processing, interactively in real time, a digital representation or model of a three-dimensional world. System 50 can display some or all of the world from any arbitrary viewpoint. For example, system 50 can interactively change the viewpoint in response to real time inputs from handheld controllers 52a, 52b or other input devices. This allows the game player to see the world through the eyes of someone within or outside of the world. System 50 can be used for applications that do not require real time 3D interactive display (e.g., 2D display generation and/or non-interactive display), but the capability of displaying quality 3D images very quickly can be used to create very realistic and exciting game play or other graphical interactions.

To play a video game or other application using system 50, the user first connects a main unit 54 to his or her color television set 56 or other display device by connecting a cable 58 between the two. Main unit 54 produces both video signals and audio signals for controlling color television set 56. The video signals are what controls the images displayed on the television screen 59, and the audio signals are played back as sound through television stereo loudspeakers 61L, 61R.

The user also needs to connect main unit 54 to a power source. This power source may be a conventional AC adapter (not shown) that plugs into a standard home electrical wall socket and converts the house current into a lower DC voltage signal suitable for powering the main unit 54. Batteries could be used in other implementations.

The user may use hand controllers 52a, 52b to control main unit 54. Controls 60 can be used, for example, to specify the direction (up or down, left or right, closer or further away) that a character displayed on television 56 should move within a 3D world. Controls 60 also provide input for other applications (e.g., menu selection, pointer/cursor control, etc.). Controllers 52 can take a variety of forms. In this example, controllers 52 shown each include controls 60 such as joysticks, push buttons and/or directional switches. Controllers 52 may be connected to main unit 54 by cables or wirelessly via electromagnetic (e.g., radio or infrared) waves.

Of course, the console doesn´t look like what we expect the Revolution to look like. In fact, the patent refers to an ´example system´. And, similarly, the controllers may not turn out like the ones pictured at all. Nevertheless, this is one of the few patents that are definitely dealing with the Revolution. And the description of the graphics are a good read.

31 comments:

Fedboy said...

[0027] The present invention relates to computer graphics, and more particularly to interactive graphics systems such as home video game platforms. Still more particularly this invention relates to a graphics system having a reconfigurable embedded frame buffer which advantageously enables the selection of particular pixel formats on a frame-by-frame basis for data stored therein.

So this about the GFX processing

Falafelkid said...

True, fedboy. But this in turn relates to the Rev. I´ll sift through the related patents tonight. There might be something more concrete.

Anonymous said...

really really interesting..
the fact that was released yesterday means that something is moving and that nintendo will show something more concrete soon?

Falafelkid said...

Perhaps. But where do you see that patent was released yesterday? It was filed in March, wasn´t it?

Fedboy said...

yes I understand it's about a new type of gfx processing and internal interaction or something.

One problem that graphics system designers have faced in the past is to determine what format(s) of data to support in the local memory and the external frame buffer to enable advantageous and efficient use thereof by applications running on the system..... ....The present invention addresses this problem by providing techniques and arrangements for use in connection with an embedded frame buffers in graphics systems. ....

I can conclude out of the patent is that it's a more efficient way of processing. Which obviously will be used in revolution (that's would explain why it could be small and cheap)

Anonymous said...

Filed: March 18, 2005
But on the top it says July 28, 2005 So that's when it made public would be my guess

Fedboy said...

Btw sorry for dubble posting (triple posting now hehehe)

Anonymous said...

they probably have updated the patent

Anonymous said...

@fedboy
yep, the patent say "Copying in YUV format reduces the amount of memory used in main memory by 1/3." claims [0149]

Anonymous said...

@anonymous

the patent talk about PowerPC 750 (gekko is a extended version of it) as a example for the main processor.

it make me suspicious. so I found, in google, that patent existed already in 2001-2002

google cache :

http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:zJNJRiLh5KMJ:gauss.ffii.org/PatentView/EP1182617++Graphics+system+with+embedded+frame+buffer+having+reconfigurable+pixel+formats+&hl=fr&lr=&strip=1

Falafelkid said...

fedboy, you are welcome to do whatever you want, mate! Quadruple-post, hit that return button. I am glad you guys come here to talk ;P

Anonymous said...

Also it enables anti-aliasing I read. Got this from wikipedia:In computin, Aliasing is a term that generally means that one variable or some reference, when changed, has an indirect (usually unexpected) effect on some other data.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-aliasing here are some pictures that clearly explain's the difference.

Fedboy said...

@falafelkid
hehe okay, that's good cuz i just did it again (for some reason i'm called anonymous)

Falafelkid said...

Anonymous, good find. I was aware of it being a renewed patent application (says so in the header), but I didn´t know the wording was identical - or so it seems to me. Have you seen the same images too?

Anonymous said...

@falafelkid
same drawing for this previous patent (2002)

view it at (drawing is in pdf)
http://l2.espacenet.com/espacenet/viewer?PN=EP1182617

Fedboy said...

But even if it's a renewed patent they could have adjusted it a bit to the revolution, so they don't have to make another patent, it cost money if you USE it and this way it isn't as obvious and spills to much information 'bout the revolution. but i would like to see the origanel (dyslecsic + dutch) to compare

Anonymous said...

is it me or does that look like the boys thumb in the controller!!!

Anonymous said...

Check this out:

Controllers 52 can take a variety of forms. In this example, controllers 52 shown each include controls 60 such as joysticks, push buttons and/or directional switches.

So does this mean that the rumors of detachable and re-attachable parts of the controller are true? Or maybe those rumors of a controller with buttons that can change? Or maybe a touch pad controller to have many different buttonsa? We'll have to wait and see, but it's definitely interesting.

Falafelkid said...

@anonymous: What´s that about the thumb? Can´t see anything wrong there...

Also, the console is frontloading. So that feature must have been planned for a while. In fact, the slot looks eerily similar to the Rev.

Anonymous said...

52a and 52b is the controller with
60 a directionnal input control wich could be a joystick or push button based directional input

the patent just describe and cover broadly every type of controller with directionnal control

sssd said...

"[0205] System 1201 may also include a modem 1154 or other network interface means for establishing communications over a network 1152 such as the Internet. Modem 1154, which may be internal or external, is connected to system bus 123 via serial port interface 1231. A network interface 1156 may also be provided for allowing system 1201 to communicate with a remote computing device 1150 (e.g., another system 1201) via a local area network 1158 (or such communication may be via wide area network 1152 or other communications path such as dial-up or other communications means). System 1201 will typically include other peripheral output devices, such as printers and other standard peripheral devices."


I read that towards the bottom...why would a patent for the rev say it would contain a modem? Not sure about this....

sssd said...

but then again, it says stuff like this:

[0204] A number of program modules including emulator 1303 may be stored on the hard disk 1211, removable magnetic disk 1215, optical disk 1219 and/or the ROM 1252 and/or the RAM 1254 of system memory 1205. Such program modules may include an operating system providing graphics and sound APIs, one or more application programs, other program modules, program data and game data. A user may enter commands and information into personal computer system 1201 through input devices such as a keyboard 1227, pointing device 1229, microphones, joysticks, game controllers, satellite dishes, scanners, or the like. These and other input devices can be connected to processing unit 1203 through a serial port interface 1231 that is coupled to system bus 1207, but may be connected by other interfaces, such as a parallel port, game port Fire wire bus or a universal serial bus (USB). A monitor 1233 or other type of display device is also connected to system bus 1207 via an interface, such as a video adapter 1235.

which doesn't sound like any other nintendo project than the rev...

sssd said...

sorry to keep doing this, but look at figure 18B. this thing looks more like a PC than the revolution.

let's just say i'm confused as hell....

sssd said...

last time, i promise:

[0197] Certain of the above-described system components 50 could be implemented as other than the home video game console configuration described above. For example, one could run graphics application or other software written for system 50 on a platform with a different configuration that emulates system 50 or is otherwise compatible with it. If the other platform can successfully emulate, simulate and/or provide some or all of the hardware and software resources of system 50, then the other platform will be able to successfully execute the software.

[0198] As one example, an emulator may provide a hardware and/or software configuration (platform) that is different from the hardware and/or software configuration (platform) of system 50. The emulator system might include software and/or hardware components that emulate or simulate some or all of hardware and/or software components of the system for which the application software was written. For example, the emulator system could comprise a general purpose digital computer such as a personal computer, which executes a software emulator program that simulates the hardware and/or firmware of system 50.

[0199] Some general purpose digital computers (e.g., IBM or MacIntosh personal computers and compatibles) are now equipped with 3D graphics cards that provide 3D graphics pipelines compliant with DirectX or other standard 3D graphics command APIs. They may also be equipped with stereophonic sound cards that provide high quality stereophonic sound based on a standard set of sound commands. Such multimedia-hardware-equip- ped personal computers running emulator software may have sufficient performance to approximate the graphics and sound performance of system 50. Emulator software controls the hardware resources on the personal computer platform to simulate the processing, 3D graphics, sound, peripheral and other capabilities of the home video game console platform for which the game programmer wrote the game software.


that first one sounds like the rev emulating the consoles, but then it goes on to say that a pc could emulate the console in this patent? confusing.

I'm done now, i promise. sorry to clutter up your comments.

Moteh said...

When you file a patent you have to describe every thing it can possibly be used for to your knowledge, and there is a huge bunch of BS in patents.

If you look at the GBA petent, they include emulator chips and codes, if you look at the gamecube patent, you will find the same TV and controller images used in that patent.

Also, since the GC and RTev use the supposedly same architecture, I think we cansurmise that their patents would be similar, they are based on the same API, so to program for them must be similar as in the way the system is wired. It is the features on those ships that's important, and this is just a patent for the console itself.

Anonymous said...

It seems fairly legit to me, with the console being a pretty accurate description of what we know about the N-Rev as of now. The detachable parts of the controller sound fairly interesting too, and the graphics processing sounds powerful. That said, it could easily be fake somehow. We'll know when Nintendo make their announcements about the console.

HereticPB said...

This is a fairly old patent. It represents the GameCube.

Falafelkid said...

Can´t be heretic. There´s too much talk of next-gen features.

Anonymous said...

I know you said some guy on the nintendo forums found this, but around the beginning of june I was following a thread on the nintendo forums and some guy who i thinks name was shanghi yoshi found this and recognized it for what it was but people didnt believe him.

HereticPB said...

You guys do know the GameCube can do CubeMapping right?

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