Saturday, January 14, 2006

Revolution Patent found

In the comments to my one before last post, Amar alerted my attention to a new patent entitled Game information storage medium and game system using the same. The abstract reads:
A game information storage medium is removably connected to a first game machine having a first architecture, and includes a game program for a second game machine having a second architecture, an emulator program for converting the second architecture into an architecture compatible with the first architecture, and a game selection program.

When the game information storage medium is started-up on the first game machine, by executing the game selection program, the first game machine displays a game title to be selected by a player, and executes a game program of the selected game title by using the emulator program.
So the patent is talking about two systems and their compatibility. In fact, it talks about storing data for the second system on the first system´s discs (or cartridges). This must concern either:

* Revolution data stored on Gamecube discs (or vice versa)
* Revolution data stored on DS cartridges

Or, less likely, it could concern:

* Revolution data stored on PC CD-ROMs (or vice versa)
* GBA cartridges used in the DS

Next, the two game systems are mentioned in detail. The second one must be the Revolution, because that is the system that will be emulating, rather than being emulated. It is described as:
A home video game system comprising: a data storage memory comprising a work RAM data storage portion and a VRAM data storage portion; a processor; a special purpose graphics subsystem for providing a video game display on a home-use television receiver
What in the world is ´a special purpose graphics subsystem´? And if providing graphics on a television is so special, where would it normally be provided?

Let´s turn to the description to find out what is going on in detail:
The game information storage medium stores in a first game machine, a game program for a second game machine having an architecture different from the first game machine architecture and an emulator program for converting the second-game-machine game program to be executed on the first game machine. By executing the second-game-machine game program on the first game machine, a game can be enjoyed on the first game machine which would not otherwise have been possible.
Reading this, I thought of Revolution and DS connectivity. What if you could download vintage games with your Revolution and download them onto DS cartridges? You could either have a DS cartridge reader in the console or use some kind of cable connection between the consoles. You would need some kind of blank cartridge and could then play any old Nintendo game on the DS. However, in order to control the game with your stylus it would have to have been rewritten, I guess. So unless they are planning that, this method would just utilize the buttons.

Whatever the deal is, the secret obviously lies within the ´novel game information storage medium and game system´. The most surprising claim is this one though:
In addition, by replacing the graphics data included in the game program with the graphics data of the character that the player desires, it is possible to apply a variation on the game, and therefore, the single game program can be played by the player for a long time.
This would suggest that we can somehow change the content of vintage games, at least some of the characters.

Source: US Patent & Trademark Office
Thanks to: Amar


HereticPB said...

Sounds similar to Revolution Report's patent they found.

I just checked. It is and your conclusions are close to being exact as theirs.

Here is their important extractions:

* The application refers to storing a game program for a legacy console alongside a game program for the "newer-type" console all on one storage medium. This could be in reference to Nintendo planning to deliver its classic titles with Revolution titles.

* The patent application states that the "home video game system" is capable of emulating a "legacy home video game system or a hand-held portable game system". This suggests Nintendo has at least given some thought to providing their Game Boy and DS software through the Virtual Console service.

* A mysterious claim in the application says that the game machine can "use a high-speed computer instead of a special purpose-game machine to execute game programs." This can be interpreted several ways, but it seems to hint at some possible Revolution-PC connectivity.

* In the previous patent, replacing characters in legacy games using a graphics replacement technique was discussed. This application expands on this idea, saying it can also be used to "suitably change the map or other characters." This once again falls in line Nintendo President Satoru Iwata's comments in June 2005, stating that "with Revolution, we may be able to see the old games with new looks."

* Last but not least, the patent application also claims that this technology is not limited to game machines created by Nintendo, but is applicable to the older and newer game machines of "other manufacturers." This is most likely stated to prevent other companies from stealing this technique of backwards compatibility, but it could also likely mean that other legacy console manufacturers such as Sega or SNK could provide classic content in a similar manner via Nintendo's Virtual Console.

Varian said...

Falafakid, you should run these patents before legal specialists before you post and speculate on them. The 'machine' it is talking about is the Virtual Console.

"to emulate a less capable home video game system"

"By executing the second-game-machine game program on the first game machine, a game can be enjoyed on the first game machine which would not otherwise have been possible."

This is nothing but the Virtual Console. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

Kevin said...

Yeah this patent has already been digested and torn apart. Oh well everyone makes mistakes.

HereticPB said...

From what Rev Report said is there was some new things but I guess not.

Morton-jn said...

This is definately Virtual console related. Obviously the second systems are NES, SNES, N64 etc...

HereticPB said...

Always good to have a 2nd, 3rd, forth opinion on a patent though.

Falafelkid said...

Hi everyone. Yes, obviously, some of this patent is concerning the virtual console. However, the patent also specifically mentions game data for two systems stored on the medium of one of them. This is interesting, since it either suggests that Revolution game discs may also contain vintage classics or you could be downloading vintage games onto your DS.

As far as the Revolution Report article is concerned, I only saw that after posting. I was alerted to the patent by comments left on this blog. The patent is relatively straightforward. That is why we have picked up on almost the same paragraphs.

Anonymous said...

A special purpose graphics subsystem is the GPU (Hollywood). All the special purpose means is that its not a general purpose microprocessor, that would be the CPU.

Anonymous said...

good news falafelkid!! The part of changing characters / maps is great!!! Its what Iwata's said in the past (old games, new look)! Do you think N will creat programs to edit (we, players) maps / characteres? Imagine creating new aircrafs / enviroments to Pilotwings...

Anonymous said...

"game data for two systems stored on the medium of one of them."

Isn't this another way of describing the possibility of downloading old games on the revo's flash memory card?

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anonym. Good point. It could be talking about the flash memory. That would prove, though, that the flash memory would be exchangable (if that hadn´t been announced yet).

Pekka said...

The thing about the possibility of downloading these games and playing them on DS is that the DS has smaller resolution than what the games were designed for. With old Nintendo systems, the screens were roughly thirty pixels taller than the screen on DS.

DS -> 256 × 192
Sega -> 320 × 224
SNES -> 512 × 448 (max)

Either you'd have to scale the game down, or somehow remap the whole thing to work on smaller resolution.

Anonymous said...

Off Topic :
Moody's cuts Sony debt rating to A2

Darth Link said...

To me, it was pretty obvious that it was reffering to the flash memory storage, but you guys have been expanding the concept (I.E. download to DS and storaging). I was thinking that Nintendo would use the same DS cartridges as memory cards for saving games in them, just as falafelkid mentioned. That would clearly mean that we will be able to play them on the DS. My doubt is, does the DS need an emulator so we can play vintage games on it? Does it have it and Nintendo will reveal it does, surprising us with new DS capabilities, a year and a half after it was released?

Now, we are beginning to have confirmation (sorta) about Nintendo's comments about vintage games having a different look on Revolution. This is pretty amazing in itself: Having the ability to edit the games we play (remember how they first tried with the N64 Disk Drive?), and not only that, but "with the graphics data of the character that the player desires"?? Do they mean that we decide what AND how to edit?

If so, it wouldn't be new (the N64DD version of F-Zero X featured track editing and creation), but hell, it would be trully groundbreaking.

And lastly, the Revolution and the DS wouldn't need any cable, they use the same wireless 'format', if you excuse the term, so they would be completely compatible wirelessly.

trip1eX said...

Yeah common sense says this is the virtual console. This stuff has been floating around the 'net for a long time now.

Same with the swapping out lead characters on your whim. I even posted anonymously in this blog about this very thing. Whether it will happen or not remains a mystery.

Anonymous said...

The idea of creating your own maps and editing games sounds pretty intersting...kinda like the Nintendo side for playing games, the other for making games...



Taylor said...

Game data for TWO systems stored on the media of ONE of them? Um, did we all forget about GameCube backwards compatibility?

HereticPB said...

However, to save games on a DS cartridge we need a DS cartridge "burner" so to speak.

So I think that is out unless they modify the cartridge to do like game saves but it does it for software downloads instead.

As you see these Wi-Fi stations, you can download demos but you cannot keep them as when you turn the system off they are gone.

It refers to two games on one disc and that is nothing new as well as it refers to the virtual console.

nz guy said...

SG007 is giving it all up

he says his name is jean and hes a 17 year old canadian

he is going to close the site and the email address because he has been thretend with legal action from various companies.

nz guy said...

to me the patent talks about saving games that you download onto your rev console. and it comes with a graphics card for playing classic games on tv as well as a more advanced one for some sort of different displayof which i have no idea about.

Anonymous said...

New Nintendo Revolution trailer:
It´s hilarious!!


Anonymous said...

Seems pretty obvious that this is just a patent for emulating games on Revolution.

A home video game system comprising: a data storage memory comprising a work RAM data storage portion and a VRAM data storage portion; a processor; a special purpose graphics subsystem for providing a video game display on a home-use television receiver

A "special purpose graphics subsystem" just means it isn't off the shelf. AKA custom ATI graphics chip.

Please stop "speculating" until you fix that huge problem of being a fucking n00b.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anonym. Maybe YOU should like to fix your insecurities that prohibit you from engaging in a civilized discussion?

Now, let´s pretend you didn´t say what you did and start from scratch. Have you read any other Nintendo patents? Because this is the only Nintendo patent that contains the term ´graphics subsystem´. Please do some research before commenting. Especially you calling me a ´noob´ when it turns out you haven´t checked your facts beforehand defeats the object of flaming.

But let´s forget about that and discuss the topic maturely, shall we? You are welcome to join in the discussion, anyway.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you'd have to have a cable between the systems, as booth will be wi-fi enabled. You will be able to log into the DS directly from the Revolution and exchange game data that way, should your extrapolation on the possibility of this patent be correct.

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