In this day and age, you divorce gaming and streaming at your own peril. VR gaming, with much success, strives towards a complete immersive experience. Very good, but the flipside of that is VR gaming as a lonesome experience; after all, we can’t wear one VR device at the same time. The streaming solution seemed lost unless someone came up with a brilliant enough idea. The folks from Owlchemy Lab brought us MR spectator tool, but Sony are the one to look out for the real VR game streaming.
For the new tool description, we follow the trail of patents. 1 November saw the publication of a patent from Sony filled back in April. Still waiting approval, the patent allows multiple users observe on phones what is happening inside VR gaming environment. Easy enough, the phone receives video feel via client. It is essentially a VR game streaming tool with a twist up the sleeve.
If it were a simple stream tool still waiting patent approval, let alone full development, it wouldn’t warrant a page. But Sony decided to add a layer of complexity and, dare we say, brilliance to the stream formula. Namely, not only will observers peer into game world, but they will also dynamically see the VR player surrounded by VR environment in their phones. To explain this further, Sony VR game streaming tool will make ‘a window’ out of smartphones, able to render the VR environment as well as the player in it. Now, how’s that for a twist?
And how does Sony plan to pull it off? The best bet is that a system of front facing and rear cameras would be in place to track the player movement. The system would also compute the distance between player and a smartphone screen. Cameras will also provide the possibility to look around the game world, even if the player inside it is facing the other way. The angle and direction is entirely on the player 2, the observer, who controls the streaming experience via smartphone ‘window’.
This sort of dynamic interplay opens up many gaming possibilities. The bare bones of Sony game VR streaming tool utility will be useful with enhancing replay experiences. The observer will simply be in a much better position to control the action from vantage points. Being relatively free in terms of where to look and how, the observer saves the player of the potential nausea. Another thought-provoking utility is the uncanny compatibility with first-person shooting games. Again, this has very much to do with the spectator’s independence of image control. Spectators can scan the game world for enemies and help navigate players inside. This might prove to be an interesting take on co-op gaming and VR multiplayer in the future.
After a short outing into the potentiality of Sony VR game streaming tool, a reminder that it’s still in its patent phase. Nevertheless, surviving the test of potential for six months, it means that Sony is likely rolling with it soon.