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E3 Displays PlayStation (Games) Sony Games

Sony's Solution To Split-Screen Multiplayer 157

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-peeking dept.
We discussed Sony's E3 announcement of the pricing and details of the Vita portable console (hands-on report), but they also made a stronger push into the 3D space, revealing a 24" display specifically designed for 3D gaming. Most notable about this display is that two players wearing 3D glasses can use it to view separate images on screen. This means that when playing with a friend, you need not sacrifice 50% of screen real estate to accommodate the other player. The Guardian has a good run-down of Sony's other E3 announcements.
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Sony's Solution To Split-Screen Multiplayer

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  • This is actually pretty darn clever. Maybe I don't know of the prior art everyone and their brother knows, but colored me impressed by a company I no longer expected this from. Not just in realizing this could be done, but in the executives allowing it to reach market.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by delinear (991444)
      It's clever but I'm not sure they deserve the kudos for it, I've seen dozens of people suggest this very approach to multiplayer as a useful way to utilise 3D over the past several years (since it reared its head again) - I even remember having a discussion on this very topic with a friend back in '06 (I remember the date as I can remember the project we were working on that spawned the discussion). This is just more evidence that if you're already a global mega-corporation it's much easier to put these ide
      • by tgd (2822)

        Poor patents are issued today because the system is overwhelmed by submissions from individuals and corporations paying tends of thousands per filing.

        And you think things would get better by making them *free*!? If you think an idea is worth protecting, suck it up and pay the money. Tens of thousands of individuals do.

        If you don't, all you need to do is publish something about it. When you had that idea in '06 (and its not anything new -- active LCD 3D wasn't uncommon even in the early 90's, and I saw this

      • by Sene (1794986)
        Indeed, old idea that has been tossed around in the net for quite some time already. Next phase is of course 240Hz 3D tv that allows two player 3D gaming from the same screen.
        • by JimFive (1064958)

          Next phase is of course 240Hz 3D tv that allows two player 3D gaming from the same screen.

          With the current setup you always have image going to your eyes. For two-player 3D you would have to have 2 blank cycles (for the opponent's screen) for each frame (1 cycle left eye, 1 cycle right eye, 2 cycles no eyes). I think that would be very straining, even if it was L - 0 - R - 0, because the predominant signal from your eyes would be blank.

          Not saying they couldn't do it, but I think it's a harder problem.
          --
          JimFive

          • by Sene (1794986)
            I would assume that it will be tricky. Also if one player is in completely light area and another in completely dark would strain the screen like crazy.
      • by Balthisar (649688)

        Look up "defensive publication." It's done all the danged time.

        • Look up "defensive publication." It's done all the danged time.

          But his requirement be that it's free. Something like halfbakery.com is probably what he's looking for. The WP article on it lists some of its competitors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halfbakery [wikipedia.org]

          • by Balthisar (649688)

            There's nothing more free than the public domain, which is why a defensive publication is used. The halfbakery thing seems uneccesarily convoluted. I suppose that some definitions of "freedom" are GPL-like, in that maybe he wants to allow people to pseudo-freely use his ideas as long as they agree to certain conditions?

      • by ilguido (1704434)

        This is just more evidence that if you're already a global mega-corporation it's much easier to put these ideas into production (and, more importantly, lock everyone else out with IP laws).

        The fact is that, at least in Europe, you have to implement your idea into a real device to patent it, so to show that:
        * you can build it for real
        * it is useful
        It's a much worse situation when someone patent just an idea, just waiting for someone else to do the dirty job (i.e. implementing the idea into a real device) and profit.

    • by FyRE666 (263011) *

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this mean that the PS3 has to create 4 images per frame for 3D for 2 players? At 1080p this is a LOT of pixels to push. I'd wondered whether this sort of thing was possible some time back, but assumed it would not be feasible as the frame rates would need to be lowered too much. If it works as advertised though, I'm definitely up for getting one! (and I'd written Sony off)

    • " but colored me impressed by a company I no longer expected this from"

      As a friend told me that has worked at sony in the past, Sony exists out of multiple independed entities. So it is perfectly normal that one department is real cool and relaxed and another department is a real PITA.

      For example Sony DVD players supports divx for a long time (I have a really old one) which their movie department isn't that happy about. 90% of the people using DIVX aren't playing legal content.

      Sony Imageworks for e
    • This guy did it with a normal tv and two pairs of cinema 3D glasses. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVJcVPvjUJo [youtube.com]
    • This is actually pretty darn clever. Maybe I don't know of the prior art everyone and their brother knows, but colored me impressed by a company I no longer expected this from. Not just in realizing this could be done, but in the executives allowing it to reach market.

      There's something Sony didn't mention out loud: the display shows different pictures to the two different players, but it'll apparently be 2D, not 3D. 3D just for one person requires twice the bandwidth as compared to regular 2D, and 3D for two requires four times that, so there's simply not enough bandwidth to do it.

    • by AJH16 (940784)

      What I want to know is if the glasses will work with other 3DTVs and the feature will be supported on other TVs. I've got a 55" Bravia 3DTV and I would love to be able to use this feature. Really all it is is a different shutter pattern for the glasses, so there is no reasons they shouldn't make this available on any 3DTV that has compatible glasses.

    • by Drantin (569921)

      The short story Double-Take by Winston K. Marks covers the concept, although in there it was in a theatre as an evolution of 3D movies, where one viewer could watch a movie from the male lead's perspective, and the other from the female lead's perspective.

      The story was written in 1953. Is that prior art enough? You can check here [selfip.com] a bit over half-way down for the story.

  • What about people who aren't playing and want to watch?

    • by delinear (991444)
      They have a set of glasses with each side attuned to a different player and they just close one eye or the other :)
      • I'm assuming without the glasses you'd see both screens superimposed on each other. While it could be annoying, you'd get to follow both players this way.

        And if you want to go with one player only, you don't need the glasses. Just blink really really fast. :)

    • by Narishma (822073)

      Oh they thought about it, don't worry. They'll just sell you as many $70 pairs of glasses as you want people watching.

  • >"This means that when playing with a friend, you need not sacrifice 50% of screen real estate to accommodate the other player"

    Right, it means you sacrifice 50% of the refresh rate instead. And with all the 3D TV's I have seen so far, that means FLICKER!!

    • by arth1 (260657)

      To me, it seems like a solution looking for a problem, much like the Wii, but without the benefit of viral marketing.

      3D glasses will soon join the Foreman grills, stack of T-Shirt transfer paper and Cuecats in the basement. This secondary use for them won't do anything to stop that. Anything that adds inconvenience will fail. Having to put on glasses and only run certain games is an inconvenience.

  • The second 3d tv's came on the market almost ALL gaming forums were full of the "Screw 3d, how about full screen for 2 player co-op?"

    Sony steals that idea and patents it as their own.... Nice.

    Thanks sony!

    • by Amarantine (1100187) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @06:47AM (#36373120)
      So, for once, Sony actually listens to what people want... and you're STILL complaining?
      • So, for once, Sony actually listens to what people want... and you're STILL complaining?

        You think listening to someone else's idea & patenting that idea are the same thing?

    • by EdZ (755139)
      And you think those forum goers actually thought up the idea themselves, rather than looking at previous examples of multi-user separated displays (some fixed viewing position ones have been used in cars for quite a while) and parroting it as ORIGINAL IDEA DO NOT STEAL.
    • by Khashishi (775369)

      So, did Sony actually patent this thing? And is there actually prior art in the gaming forums? Some links would be nice.

  • Is it just me, or anything putting "sony" and "solution" in the same phrase just don't make sense anymore?

    • by lpp (115405)

      Sure it makes sense:

      -In a dread inspiring voice: The Sony Solution-

      Dislike someone? Hack them to death!

  • Hahaha how can anyone be talking about Sony and multiplayer in the same sentence now.
    • by Ecuador (740021)

      But this is the whole point. Nowadays the only way their multiplayer is safe is when it is not over a network. So it is obvious they would try to give you better 2-player support on the same display.
      So next time PSN is down, they will say "Stop complaining. We gave you the best multiplayer that doesn't require a network, so, go out, buy a 3D TV and find a friend!"

  • Smearing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Inda (580031)
    I have a two-yea old, mid-range 42 inch Panasonic plasma and it suffers from smearing. Even though it has a refresh rate of 200hz, it is noticable on fast panning action.

    I assume other large TVs also suffer from smearing.

    With this new 'solution' I imagine seeing a ghost image of the other player's screen, or am I way off the mark?
    • by Zwets (645911)

      I have a two-yea old, mid-range 42 inch Panasonic plasma and it suffers from smearing. Even though it has a refresh rate of 200hz, it is noticable on fast panning action.

      I'm no expert, but I've read the "200Hz" means the TV tries to calculate in-between frames. This doesn't work well for fast panning action, which might be causing the smearing. Try to see if you can get rid of the smearing by turning this "smart" feature off.

  • by SharpFang (651121) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @07:26AM (#36373340) Homepage Journal

    Why when I heard SONY and SOLUTION I immediately thought "They came up with a way to have people who want to play split-screen to pay for two copies of the game instead of one. Some licensing/payment/authentication scheme that enables split-screen only if both players purchased the license."

    I know, I know. Don't give them ideas. I hope they don't read Slashdot.

  • On a sadder note, DUST 514 is going to be ps3 exclusive?!?!?!? WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!1!

  • What about multiple display output? You could get the same effect (with the same drawbacks) from having a second video out on the console. Even better, you could choose to rotate the displays so that the other player can't see your screen. Course, you'd have to write the games to be compatible
  • Make sure that Russian hackers have all your personal information and credit card numbers.

  • is there anything they can't do?
  • "wearing 3D glasses"

    Never mind. Still nothing to see here.

  • It looks like a great 3D TV, until they gain enough popularity and Sony decides to remove the multiplayer feature.

  • You lose 50% of the refresh rate (e.g. 120Hz appears as 60Hz for each player). After all, I'm assuming that they're using the glass's active shutter system to display half the frames to one player and the other half to the other player. Or did they do something different?

  • Like many have said, I think this is a great idea. One of the things I dislike about multiplayer on the same console is the amount of screen you lose. This would be great for two vs. two as well; both players on one team can only see their teammate's screen and not their opponent's screen.
    The downside to this is you can't have people watch you play. They're either going to see your screen or their screen, they won't be able to see both. I imagine games that use this technology will have a "traditional"
    • by tepples (727027)

      One of the things I dislike about multiplayer on the same console is the amount of screen you lose.

      In Bomberman or Street Fighter IV, how much screen does each player lose?

  • Would it be possible to use this concept to allow only one person to see what's on a screen? This could be a potentially powerful tool for security and secrecy.

  • you need not sacrifice 50% of screen real estate to accommodate the other player

    Yes you do, the 3D display process is already halving your resolution - which is exactly the same thing: you lose 50% of screen.

  • I got to the 4th character and knew that the subject was not going to be on my shopping list.

    But I read on anyway and it still sounds bizarrely bizarre. Like, you're going to have friends round to play a multi-player game, and they're not going to bring their own laptop? Weird concept. How are you going to swap porn and jack off together. Yeuch - the very idea of jacking off onto someone else's keyboard is ... strangely appealing.

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