Sony files patents for VR technology that allows players to experience being at eSports events from the comfort of their homes

The ultimate spectator mode

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • April 11, 2019 at 9:23 a.m. PDT

Sony is aiming to take their VR technology to the next level, and several patents filed by the company over the last two years show a delve into the world of eSports. Based on the patents filed here, Sony aims to create a viewing experience for fans using VR that would allow them to feel like they're in the crowd at their favorite eSports events, but from the comfort of their own home.

If the company brings these patents to fruition, we could be looking at a future where fans can virtually spectate major fighting game events like Capcom Cup and EVO without needing to travel.

Originally filed in October 2017 and published earlier this month, the first patent details ways in which a VR user could potentially jump into an augmented reality experience seeing them at the venue where the eSports event is taking place. By using various cameras and streams at the event, Sony would create a 3D view for VR users that emulates sitting among the audience.

This technology goes as far as allowing the VR user to see actual audience members in seats next to them — thanks to cameras and presence sensors built into the chairs — and even see other virtual spectators within the venue. We could potentially see Sony-run eSports tournaments with an entire audience composed of virtual spectators.

According to the documents, this virtual experience would operate using network connections to computers that would capture the views, then transmit the data to VR headsets.

Sony patents for VR eSports viewing technology image #1 Sony patents for VR eSports viewing technology image #2 Sony patents for VR eSports viewing technology image #3
Click images for larger versions

The patents dive deeper into other potential features and technologies, such as microphones built into the chairs for spectator interaction (both physical and virtual audience members), personalized ads, and even gifts tossed into the crowd from the stage that could manifest as virtual goods or potentially physical items mailed to the recipient.

As we move toward a VR-focused future, the concept of how such technology could potentially work in fighting games usually starts and ends at spectating — as it would be very difficult to have players in a first-person view playing competitive fighting games due to how incredibly reliant they are on spacing and a viewpoint that sees most of the stage. However, a VR experience that puts you into the venue of major tournaments is certainly an interesting prospect.

Most major fighting games right now are run on PlayStation 4 in tournament, and Sony even has a partnership with Capcom for Street Fighter 5's exclusivity. It isn't difficult to imagine a point in time down the road where the Capcom Pro Tour offers an enhanced viewing experience (for a price) that sends you to Las Vegas, Tokyo, or anywhere a CPT event is held, and I can see there definitely being an allure to that for some fans.

Via Siliconera.

Load comments (24)