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Nintendo Businesses Entertainment Games

Nintendo Files Patent For Game That Plays Itself 152

Posted by Soulskill
from the say-what-now dept.
Kotaku points out a recent patent filed by Nintendo which automates gameplay unless the user specifically chooses to play a particular part of the game. Quoting: "The new system, described in a patent filed by Nintendo Creative Director Shigeru Miyamoto on June 30, 2008, but made public today, looks to solve the issue of casual gamers losing interest in a game before they complete it, while still maintaining the interest of hardcore gamers. The solution would turn a game into a full-length cut scene of sorts, allowing players to jump into and out of the action whenever they wanted. But when played this way, gamers would not be able to save their progress, maintaining the challenge of completing a game without skipping or cheating."
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Nintendo Files Patent For Game That Plays Itself

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  • Progress Quest! (Score:5, Informative)

    by forkazoo (138186) <wrosecrans.gmail@com> on Saturday January 10, 2009 @04:54AM (#26396811) Homepage

    Or, at least, Progress Quest with the addition of an option to play it. Frankly, I don't see why adding an option to play a game is defensibly patentable. I mean, I could choose not to play it without any special technology at all!

  • Angband prior art (Score:3, Informative)

    by imbaczek (690596) <imbaczek@NOsPAM.poczta.fm> on Saturday January 10, 2009 @05:20AM (#26396915) Journal
    IIRC Angband bots did that.
  • by Moraelin (679338) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @07:39AM (#26397341) Journal

    Nintendo has always played the legal card to the maximum extent possible, going all the way back to the days of draconian contracts that forbade you from making a game for anyone else if Nintendo published one of your games. They tried to control even how much you can advertise. It got ruled invalid eventually, but in the meantime, yes, they did try to put anyone out of business who no loner toes the Nintendo line.

    Or here in Europe they tried to strong-arm the retailers into what they can and can't sell, and basically used the European market as an experiment in whether they can make more money with only a handful of games and restricting access to anything else. They actually got slapped with an anti-trust for that, and were found guilty. Worse yet, it turned out that they knew they're in violation of the law, and had planned to violate it, thinking they can make more money than the fine can possibly be. (Wrong guess.)

    To get back to patents and to more recent times, they also patented or filed for patent:

    - the XBox Live, basically [arstechnica.com]

    - emulation of its own consoles, again [slashdot.org], to try to keep other people from doing it (and, yes, they tried to bully emulator developpers before)

    - weird stuff, like comparing each other's avatars online [pocket-lint.co.uk], never mind that people have been holding costume contests in COH since the fucking launch in 2004

    - something as broad as making a stage magician kinda game/sim [pocket-lint.co.uk]

    - a "wearable" controller to digitize body motions [pocket-lint.co.uk], never mind that motion capture has been done before like that for ages

    - a rechargeable game controller [espacenet.com] never mind that chargers like that existed for mice, headsets, and everything for freaking ages before that

    - just about anything you can put a motion detector into, from bikes to teddy bears [kotaku.com]

    - horror games, or at least stuff like hallucinations or hearing voices in games [uspto.gov], never mind that neither is new, and an insanity sim had even been made to train police in how to deal with dementia people

    Etc.

    Some of those seem to even exist just to keep others from doing it. E.g., they filed for a patent for console online gaming, at a time where they were publicly bashing it and saying they have no intention to do that.

    Frankly, I don't get the hardon some people seem to get about Nintendo. While they do have a couple of talented designers, the management has an uninterrupted history of being evil fucks that make MS look good by comparison. They tried every possible way to lock competitors out, and developers in, some of which MS so far never even dreamed about. E.g., I don't remember MS suing anyone for developing for the Mac too. They too broke anti-trust laws. Etc.

    And at least the previous management had no problem with even insulting its customers, especially if, god forbid, they're asking for a genre Nintendo isn't currently selling. Yamauchi publicly called RPG gamers "depressed gamers who like to sit alone in their dark rooms and play slow games", for example.

    The only thing that changed that was the GameCube being the second dud in a row, which prompted a mellowing out of attitude. If they ever get back in a positio

  • Rog-o-matic? (Score:3, Informative)

    by WWWWolf (2428) <wwwwolf@iki.fi> on Saturday January 10, 2009 @08:42AM (#26397623) Homepage

    Mauldin et al., ROG-O-MATIC: A Belligerent Expert System [princeton.edu], Fifth Biennial Conference of the Canadian Society for Computational Studies of Intelligence, London Ontario, May 16, 1984.

    Rogue [wikipedia.org] had a storyline in it - okay, not exactly a really complex one, but a storyline nonetheless... and this thing plays it automatically, in case people don't want to play it themselves! Yup, people have been making self-playing games since forever.

  • by Jaktar (975138) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @12:38PM (#26399011)
    I believe you're referring to this Yamauchi speech from Nintendo Spaceworld.

    http://www.gamespot.com/news/2467470.html [gamespot.com]

    Yamauchi does not say "depressed gamers who like to sit alone in their dark rooms and play slow games". What he did say was "stop playing boring games" and "If we can change the quality, the number of the available software titles can be as little as one-tenth the current figure. Somebody says there are a small number of titles available for Nintendo 64 and others say we do not have enough RPG. But it is not the issue this industry can afford to worry about now"

    A company that tries to make games more fun is the kind of company I want to do business with. Nintendo has had oodles of problems with patents, it's only prudent to cover your own ass.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday January 10, 2009 @01:04PM (#26399233) Homepage Journal

    Unless they give me some incentive (added bonus, extra trophies, seperate ending) this will be a kick in the face for all hardcore gamers.

    Read the summary for cricket's sake. You can't save your progress if you turn on autopilot.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 10, 2009 @08:22PM (#26403327)

    That's not true. FF-XII's Gambit system doesn't complete the game for you. It merely automates the battle scene and you still need to manually move the characters around from location to location.

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