A new PlayStation VR patent from Sony doesn't want you alone to step into its virtual reality worlds, but representations of your friends too.
Siliconera spotted two new filings relating to Sony's virtual reality headset which could point to the sort of experiences the company is planning for the future. The pair were filed in 2017 and 2018 respectively, suggesting that (if they've been pursued by Sony) they could soon bear fruit.
The first relates to live events. Sony's patent describes a scenario where a user is in attendance at a real world location, such as a sports stadium, with the headset "anchoring" them "to a physical location in the venue".
They'd be surrounded by real-world attendees, letting them watch the event as if they were actually there. It sounds similar to other live VR applications, like Next VR, Melody VR or Oculus Venues.
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'It's in the game'? You're in the game
More interesting, then, is the second application. This one speaks of turning buddies from your PSN games list into spectators of your games as you play. So, rather than generic NPC crowds in the stands of a FIFA match or along the track of a Gran Turismo race, your friends could chose to have an avatar representation of themselves turn up in your game.
These avatars could be true to life, or any sort of stylized representation they choose to submit. They could either choose to spectate in real-time in virtual reality, or show their support through a "pre-programmed" clip.
It's an interesting idea – especially in the context of the rise of eSports – and could make for not only more interesting crowds, but make the often-solitary feeling VR experience more communal.
Here's hoping Sony doesn't apply it to something like a VR Grand Theft Auto though – we're not sure we much fancy seeing our digital avatars mowed down by a maniac.