Submitted by Smurf1 931d ago | news

Sony Patents method to award trophies based on disc access

GC: "Yeah, we don’t know what’s this about either, but it does sound intriguing." (Industry, PS3, PS4, Sony)

Alternative Sources
ZBlacktt  +   931d ago
diagram picture is a red x. :(

It's on IGN as well.

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Wintersun616  +   931d ago
That's a different picture than in the article.
ZBlacktt  +   931d ago
You can see it? Just tried again, yep still red x.
ZoyosJD  +   931d ago
Probably a connection/server error. It happens occasionally.

Possibly just a more efficient way to trigger trophies. Nothing really special.
Silly gameAr  +   931d ago
If you're a pretty hardcore trophy hunter and always wanted your older, favorite games to have trophies, I would say this is pretty special.
ZoyosJD  +   931d ago
I guess so, but it would be annoying for those that sold their old games.

And this would be limited to story and difficulty unless a game already had in game achievements.

I don't mean that this wouldn't be welcomed, but it's just that I was hoping for save data, and/or variable analysis for older games trophy support.
GameSpawn  +   931d ago
Actually, the patent describes a way of adding trophies to games without needing to patch said games.

As it is currently, to retroactively add trophy support to games that did not ship with them (Uncharted is a perfect example) you must patch the game with a 20-100MB patch.

With this system they are looking at how the game accesses the disc in order to catch the triggers for awarding trophies meaning that the games original code does not need to be altered to add support.

You might say this is pointless as a trophy patch is relatively small and shouldn't be much for the developer to make and the gamer to download and install. Well some games may be easier than others to add trophies to retroactively. This patent was meant for those games that are very difficult to add support to say because the original developer no longer exists to add the support since its parent (most likely EA or Microsoft) put them out of business.
ZoyosJD  +   931d ago
@game spawn...yeah, I only took a look at the diagram initially.

It would be easily implemented on a new system and might actually be more efficient, but implementing this on old games would require a background program for each game/or a massive change to the OS just for all old games. Roughly the half the size of the patch required for each.

If the game didn't have a trigger in it for a unlock-able,then you won't see a trophy for that situation. (ex. kill x number of enemies a certain way).

So, who is going to add trophies if the developer doesn't exist anymore anyway. Who decides what they look like? Is Sony suddenly going to undertake making and placing trophies on all old games?
GameSpawn  +   931d ago
It's all just forethought. As with most patents from game companies the chances we'll see this actually used in practice in the near future is slim to none.

It does speak of Sony's character though that they even gave this thought.

As far as adding trophies, when the original developers no longer exist, this wouldn't necessarily be Sony themselves, but an option for the game publisher/parent developer (who usually owned the defunct developer). It makes it easier for a development team that didn't develop the initial game to retroactively add trophy support.
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wsoutlaw87  +   931d ago
It sounds like they might be trying to add trophies to older games. Its saying that while you are playing this method will recognize you got the trophy and it wont require the game to know you got the trophy. It would allow trophy support with out needing to update the game to support the trophies.
KimDongHwan  +   931d ago
Actually is not that easy for developers to add trophy support to an old game. Remember that MGS4 was not patched earlier because they had to revisit the code and try not to break it, then test it, QA, time and money.
UnSelf  +   931d ago
You bought a ps4!

Gold trophy unlocked
Minato-Namikaze  +   931d ago
rainslacker  +   931d ago
System based trophies would actually be kind of cool. Could become a nice community thing if done right. Could also be great marketing if done right.
DigitalRaptor  +   931d ago
@ rainslacker

to be honest, i don't think communities need forced things like that. Traditional connective features is where Sony is headed.

Although you could be right since some other Sony devices have Trophies.
JasonKCK  +   931d ago
Its a good way to earn Trophies for games that dont support Trophies. I dont understand why it needs a patent though.
wsoutlaw87  +   931d ago
lol everything needs a patent. Theyll just think up something crazy that they are never going to try, but still patent it.
jerethdagryphon  +   931d ago
ah its exactly what i was gonna write insomniac about.

bassically its a middle ware app between psn and the game disc
the app can be programed with triggers like trophies so say 100 head shots
it counts the animation access and triggers at the right time

this means that you can patch in ratchet and clank trophies or valkeryia chronicles trophys without needing to alter dormant code :)
showtimefolks  +   930d ago
Could be game changer for those who are into getting every trophy, I haven't gone out of my way to earn a trophy. Play games on normal and whichever ones I get I am at peace with that

Trophies or achievements don't do much for me but I know each gamer is different
Lubu  +   931d ago
Even though I'm sure the PS4 will have trophies right out of the gate, the implementation of this tech on older games from the PS3 would b very much welcomed. There have been several games we've wanted trophies for but haven't gotten for one reason or another. This would eliminate a barrier from keeping trophies from older games.
I wonder if it would also work on PS1 and PS2 games?
Oh maw gawd :0 Heavenly Sword, Assassin's creed. Resistance: Fall of man. GTA3,VC,SA. All with trophy support <_<

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Minato-Namikaze  +   931d ago
Seeing as i own about 15 ps1 games at the moment, want an onimusha HD collection and want Trophies for valkyrie chronicles.....YES PLZ!!!!

Wait i dont have BC PS3 and i dont think onimusha is on the PS store Nucking Futs.
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DigitalSmoke  +   931d ago
Wait what! another cool Playstation n3wz!
PSVita  +   931d ago
All good news from Sony so far.
barb_wire  +   931d ago
What?!? I guess we'll get a trophy when we hit 'start'. What an odd patent..
wenaldy  +   931d ago
Read the article.
StrawHatPatriot  +   931d ago
I don't get it
JakemanPS31994  +   931d ago
It allows developers to put trophies in old games without reprogramming it in... So all they really need to do is design the trophies then Tada! Old psone game has trophies
Kran  +   931d ago
If that's how you explain it, then please gimme gimme :)

Don't mean to sound like an trophy hunter, but some trophies help you push yourself to looking deeper into the game :)
JakemanPS31994  +   931d ago
Yah that's the impression I got from reading it (don't hate me if I am wrong lol) I hope they implement this! Resident evil 3 will be my first psone platinum >_<
sitharrefus  +   931d ago
this is great news for old games.
StrawHatPatriot  +   931d ago
Thanks for explaining
rainslacker  +   931d ago
Yeah. If they make it easy on the developer by using a high level API then it could spur some trophy inclusion. Doubt we'll ever get it from Valkyria Chronicles(Damn you Sega), but would be great for marketing from some companies if they go and add trophy support to their older PS1/2 classics to spur sales of their digital offerings.
aGameDeveloper  +   931d ago
Actually, the way this is written, Sony COULD add trophies to Valkyria Chronicles without any effort on SEGA's part, if they wanted (assuming their licensing agreement with the developer allows for it, of course). They could play the game, note where the disk is accessed when certain levels are loaded or videos are played (these sorts of things almost always come from the disk media), and then have a thread in the OS look for these accesses and award whatever trophy they see fit. Even if the game were installed, they could probably look for a hard drive access at a certain offset from the start of the install.
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kevnb  +   931d ago
trophies for things other than games? from that diagram, the patent makes no sense. we must be missing something.
Edit: the reason why it makes no sense to me is because something like this shouldn't be able to have a patent.
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Soldierone  +   931d ago
Trophies for other things isn't that far fetched. Japan gets trophies for watching TV and movies or reading Manga. vita also has the alarm clock app with trophies.
daggertoes83  +   931d ago
"vita also has the alarm clock app with trophies".
lol!!! I did not know that. Going to download it now.
Other than games? o_o

*walks outside* "Cling" *Tropy earned*

[Tropy name: agh the sun!
[Description: Step outside for the first time in months]

*sigh* We can only hope :/
sjaakiejj  +   931d ago
"something like this shouldn't be able to have a patent."

Why not?

"It [A Patent] consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time, in exchange for the public disclosure of the invention. An invention is a solution to a specific technological problem, and may be a product or a process."

I'd say this process of awarding trophies by disk reading patterns fits very nicely into the description of an invention.
jerethdagryphon  +   931d ago
patents were intended to foster inovation by protecting a specific implmentation

sonys patent wont affect ms if they chose to do something unless the method was the same or very close if
ms chose to sample data output for triggers then thats different then disc sector access
rainslacker  +   931d ago
This patent is a software process that Sony developed to perform a specific task. It details implementation and expected results. That is exactly what the patent system exists for.
joeorc  +   931d ago
i just seen the flow chart!

“A method and apparatus for adding trophy support games that do not have trophies without modifying the original game”

this could in effect give any old game trophy's without needing to redo the game, imagine adding trophy's to FF7!

or legend of dragoon or every back catalog ps1 or PS2 game!

better yet Sony could licence this to 3rd party thus they could retro add trophy support to any game in their catalog that the ip Holder owns and the iP HOLDER COULD THAN OFFER TROPHY SUPPORT FOR A SMALL FEE INSTEAD OF REQUIRING A FULL REDO ON SAID GAME!

this added retro trophy support service for older games streamed would be no physical cost in disc but just network published, but could indeed offer a re purchase of said older software on PSN! IE: port their PS1 or PS2 classic to PSN and as an incentive there could be trophy support added without needing to re do the entire old game

by adding these trophy trigger's to the code because its done without needing to do that its done without having to mod the code for the trophy support and instead allows it to be added to an older game or even newer game's like PS3 games that have no trophy support, now they can get them!
Soldierone  +   931d ago
They better keep it on lockdown. Don't want stupid hackers getting a hold of the tech and rewarding themselves for everything.....
rainslacker  +   931d ago
The trophies themselves would likely still have to be registered on whatever network uses this concept. Every trophy offered with PS3 game, or achievement offered by XBL, is registered on their servers. This way people can't just make up things and upload them.

Besides, there are already people that know how to cheat the trophy system. psnprofiles actually will filter out cheaters. I don't know how it's done, and don't care because it seems silly. I like trophies well enough to get them in games I like, but I do so for personal reasons, not for bragging rights.:)

The concept is pretty clever though, and can be great marketing for older digital titles, or games about to receive a new release, like Thief. Some people love to go back and play older games that receive trophy support...such as MGS4.
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zalanis  +   931d ago
sounds to me like they locking achievements/trophies to first time players who boot up their disks 1st, thus preventing 2nd hand buyers. Ok no backlash plz, its just my opinion, which could b totaly off.
smashcrashbash  +   931d ago
What would be the point of that? Trophies hold no value but to the person who got them.Why would they want to lock them down for? Why go through all that? And trophies are on the person's account.How are they supposed to access them and why would you want too?
Soldierone  +   931d ago
He isn't saying that, he is saying the disc will register and only reward the first player. The second person won't be able to "re earn" the trophies from a used title. Similar to what Vita does, but this is instead locking it out completely.

Agree or not, that is what he is saying. He isn't saying trophies transfer over from the first person.

in a way thats good DRM since people love trophies, but would suck.
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SolidDuck  +   931d ago
I think it could potentially be both, another devise to fight the used games market, in other words a trophy pass for used games. And also a way to patch old games with trophies with hardly any cost to developers. Maybe even ps2 ps1 games. If there end goal is to promote how the ps4 can play all playstation games through gaikai putting trophies on old games makes since. It's a reason to by an old game on gaikai instead of just off eBay or somewhere. Like hey get all your playstation games from all generations on one machine on one network with trophy support. It makes people happy who like trophies, and generates more revenue off old games. Sounds like a solid move. I mean I'm not excited about the idea of trophy passes on new games, but it's similar to the online pass idea.
rainslacker  +   931d ago
This patent had NOTHING to do with locking out trophies or modifying the current trophy system in any way.

It's simply a way of the system monitoring disc access, or variable updating within memory in order to add trophies to games that do not already have it. In addition it means that an entire executable does not have to be reprogrammed to include trophy support to a game. It would be a high level API that simply monitors what's going on within the executable of the game by observing memory, and performing trophy functions when certain criteria are met. Not dissimilar to how trophies are already done, just taken out of the main code.

If Sony(or anyone else) wanted to block trophy support to new games, then they have other technologies that can do just that. A simple on-line pass could unlock that feature.
Christopher  +   931d ago
Software concepts should not be patentable. Specific code is protected by copyright law. Concepts as obtuse as this only hurt everyone and, honestly, are basic in design.
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kevnb  +   931d ago
exactly, it makes zero sense.
Minato-Namikaze  +   931d ago
they only patented the method. other company's can still use it, but they can't do it the same way. Kinda like MS's patent on in game music.
Christopher  +   931d ago
That's the issue, it's not an exact idea, like the code or technology behind it. They are patenting the broad concept. Sure, people can do it differently, but doing this broad concept means that no one else can use a similar procedure without paying them money just for using the most logical process for doing the same thing.

It's like if I patented the IfthenElse operator. That's too broad of a concept to patent. Yet, this is a prime example of such a broad concept being filed for a patent.

These broad concepts prevent competition because all the big companies buy them all up or patent them, forcing others to go to ridiculous lengths to do something different or having to pay them money for merely patenting a broad concept.

Patent law needs to change and evolve with technology. The coding concepts we have now are not the same as mechanical engineering or hardware patents where you have to specify specific hardware technology or devices (including size, material, conductivity, etc.). Software is already limited in processes designated by the language/platform/framework and should not be held back by extremely broad concepts like this that specify no specific language, platform or framework of its own. Meaning it now applies to all implementations of a similar idea across all platforms, languages, and frameworks.
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kneon  +   931d ago
It's a pretty clever approach and should be patentable. It meets all the criteria for a patent.
Christopher  +   931d ago
***It's a pretty clever approach and should be patentable. It meets all the criteria for a patent.***

Not really. Sector tracking is an old concept and is done with every OS out there as it is as well as many HDD management software.

I agree, it meets all the criteria for a patent. My disagreement is what is required for a patent of this type.
sjaakiejj  +   931d ago
It's a step by step process that they patented. Innovation could come from other companies attempting to do the same thing using different steps.

They came up with the idea so I think it's fair if they are allowed to reap the benefits of it for a while.

PS. in terms of your comment to Minato - a patent is always on an idea, never on the code or technology behind it.
Christopher  +   931d ago
It is an idea, but it also includes specifications on the idea.

Example is on an oil rig drill. They have to specify the materials being used, such as hydraulic pumps, drill bits, various moving components, and more. As well as their sizes and ratios and their working means. Typically this is all done at a minor level with a single unit being patented for use across multiple sized oil rig. There are many specifics here that can differentiate between on oil rig drill and another as opposed to a single 'broad concept' that forces one person to own all patents.

The problem with software, there is nothing there to require a specification of hardware and implementation. Nothing. It's just an idea. And idea that implemented utilizing a Windows based environment running .NET could be vastly different than one running a Unix based environment running C++/Java. But, it doesn't matter this 'technical' differences, because it's just an idea. And idea that now applies to all elements involved. HEck the patent doesn't even specify how the data is stored or accessed.

My complaint is that software concepts should not be capable of being patented in this manner. It's abusive to small businesses and greatly hinders progress and stagnates competition.

Example: x-game chat and Microsoft's hold on it as well as many other patents relating to VoIP communication that they acquired for similar functionality by buying Skype and similar companies. If people want to compete, they have to pay someone for the rights to use their method rather than acting as true competitors.

Software and code in general already limits ideas and progress. Now broad concepts are limiting them even further.

This is from someone who used to work as a Technical Writer at an IP Law Firm and is my opinion.
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sjaakiejj  +   931d ago
It's not that I don't understand where you're coming from, but I also see the benefit of the patent system.

Patenting the idea means that the company makes the information publicly accessible. Additionally, it gives credit to the person or the company that came up with the idea, which itself also pushes innovation and invention.

Whilst there's certainly downsides to the system, as you mentioned, I feel that the ability to protect an idea in exchange for pushing it into the public domain is a fair trade.

Perhaps the costs for using the idea should be relative to the size of the company that uses it though.
Soldierone  +   931d ago
I agree, but the entire patent market is entirely broken. You can't blame Sony for the idea, I mean they got screwed early this generation due to some idiot that patented vibrating controllers. Did the company intend to ever utilize the technology? No, they just waited for companies to use it, get big, then sue.

Patents are nothing more than little toys for the legal departments of big corporations. They were put in place to protect the little guys idea, but its become a war of "we thought of the general idea first!!!!"

This is why I think the Patent offices need a revamp.
Roper316  +   931d ago
I still prefer in game unlockables over trophies but I guess people would rather pay extra for the in game items that actually have a use and would prefer to have useless trophies that you can do nothing with.

makes no sense to me but hey it is just my opinion
smashcrashbash  +   931d ago
What in the world are you talking about? What do trophies and unlockables have to do with each other? Trophies are not substitutes for unlockables. What are you talking about?
Roper316  +   931d ago
before trophies you were rewarded with in game items for doing certain things, since trophies came out those in game items are now sold for a extra fee and what once got you a in game unlockable now gets you a useless trophy.
Sephiroushin  +   931d ago
Trophies, awards or w/e have nothing to do with the problem of DLCs... Trophies are just awards for achieving something within the game, DLCs on the other hands is a downloadable content for the game, it was meant to be used to extend games. I know what you mean though 'now in most cases those unlockables are just disc locked content' and are sold for an extra fee as DLC, we all know that but trophies or awards are not to blame ...
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THC CELL  +   931d ago
Wonder if it detects trophie cheaters
nitrogav  +   931d ago
Maybe its for when you stream the old games off gaikai on ps4 ?
Christopher  +   931d ago
That would have to be a different patent with a different starting data element. This one specifies "disc and in-game disc reading patterns" as the first required data element in the overall process flow chart.
kneon  +   931d ago
Who says the disk needs to be local? They can just as easily monitor which parts of the game are being accessed on the server in order to award the trophies.
Christopher  +   931d ago
Because of the way they specify how they track trophies by sectors and need for this data to be stored at precise locations on every copy to be associated with a pattern. This means it needs to be an optical disc with the data pressed onto it in the exact same manner and location in order to designate specific sectors as flags for trophy tracking.
smashcrashbash  +   931d ago
@ Roper316.I know that but achievements and trophies weren't made especially to replace to replace unlockables.Who told you that? And to some people it isn't a useless trophy but a simple of their achievement
Roper316  +   931d ago
I have close to 4,000 trophies and I don't need them to know what I accomplished in the games I played or to make me feel good.

to each there own I guess. I still say once gamers were rewarded with trophies instead of skins or weapons they became a thing that was sold instead of unlocked and I do blame the implementation of trophies for changing that.

DLC is DLC and I have no problem with that but skins, weapons, armors were all unlockables before trophies were introduced as the new unlockable for beating a game or achieving a particular feat in a game.
Sephiroushin  +   931d ago
Again, do not blame the trophies, blame the people for buying 'Disc locked content', because of those people now it'll not be only DLC but also micro-transactions;
I don't follow COD but I think that game has started using it for camo on weapons etc, if people buy it why not put more stuff as DLC or micro-trasaction? <- this is how publishers think, you vote w/ your wallet ...
So again blame people/customers who accepted it, publishers got the green light to do it more and more when customers voted for it w/ their wallets.

Use a fighting game as an example, you beat a mode you get some new characters and other stuff, now a trophy and maybe something, you do not receive as much unlockable as years ago because of what I mentioned above, it's not because trophies ...
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tweet75  +   931d ago
id pay an extra dollar or 2 on classic games for trophy support
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Christopher  +   931d ago
We shouldn't have to pay for this. It should be something companies do for free to show support for their games and a desire to make us happy rather than nickle and dime us for intangible benefits.
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RE_L_MAYER  +   931d ago
This talk about rewarding players for throphies happened in 2006 soo yeah its never gonna happen
Iltapalanyymi  +   931d ago
well trophies are pointless anyways but it would be nice to see old gaems like tekken 1 2 3 on my trophy list. it would look more "complete"
Arai  +   931d ago
Most likely has to do with Gaikai streaming services for PS1 & PS2 games.
As those games didn't have trophies, with this method users can still obtain trophies without SCE/Developers needing to modify their game (saves time/money).

At least that's what I make of it...
Rather smart really, breathes new life into old games.
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timmyp53  +   931d ago
Should prevent lazy cheaters but I'm sure people will get around this somehow...
timmyp53  +   931d ago
Actually I was too lazy to read the article this has nothing to do with cheating.
BladerunnerZX  +   931d ago
Yet another reason I support Sony.

Sony always has the core gamers back with original IPs and supporting features like Trophies wich they added to the PS3 because the core gamers requested nay demanded it.

Its interesting how Sony and the Playstation brand support core gamers with new IPs and great features like PS Plus yet Microsoft is all but forgetting the same core gamers that helped make the Xbox360 a success within the last few years with their push on Kinect , casual gaming ,unnecessary apps and an ad filled Xbox Live Gold.
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Mathew9R   930d ago | Spam
FlyingFoxy  +   930d ago
it just sounds like the Ps4 will read whatever disc you have and you unlock that achievement, possibly a ploy to make you buy more discs just to unlock them? i don't see a point.

it's not explained too well what it could be.
stage88  +   930d ago

And read the article before you post.
o-Sunny-o  +   930d ago
Visit the PS Store 1st time Bronze trophy unlocked.
Start a chat room first time bronze trophy unlocked.
Turn on your Mic 1st time...just kidding. It would be funny for system trophies.

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