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Sony Developing 3D Screen-Sharing Technology For Two Players 174

Stoobalou writes "Sony has recently published patent applications which will allow two-player 3D gaming on a single screen. The new technology could spell an end to split-screen gaming, but is unlikely to see the light of day for a few years at least. Sony's method would allow player one to see frames one and three whilst player two would see frames two and four. Current technology requires a display with a 120 Hz refresh rate so it seems likely that we'll have to wait for 240Hz screen technology to become commonplace before two-player 3D becomes a reality. PDF versions of the two applications are available."
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Sony Developing 3D Screen-Sharing Technology For Two Players

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  • by Dzonatas ( 984964 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @06:53AM (#32975648) Homepage

    I'd imagine there are already stereoscopic patents for normal, single, left & right eye angles to create the 3D appearance. With what the article suggests, these angles have only been widened by a couple meters. Wouldn't this basically be the same patent at a different angle?

  • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:23AM (#32975782)

    I'm not sure I can ever remember a time when I suddenly stopped playing an FPS game because the "3D simulation on a 2D screen" wasn't immersive enough for me - but I can remember stopping many games because they were crap.

    Likewise, I cannot remember staring at a movie in the cinema or on a TV screen and not feeling immersed enough due to flat screen images - but I can remember walking out of crap movies in cinemas or turning off crap DVDs.

    I'm also old enough to remember movies like Jaws 3D which were released *SPECIFICALLY* to showcase 3D but were ultimately crap movies... Avatar was very pretty, I'm pleased I saw it but was ultimately just a series of graphical set pieces strung together by a simple plot.

    3D in entertainment is a gimmick & marketing tool, nothing more. It turns everything into eye candy which means your brain spends more time looking at stuff rather than wondering about the quality of the plot and the content - if you look at most stuff that's released as entertainment these days, it's clear to see quality standards have dropped, everything now is about marketing and branding.

    And as such, the technology companies are in the pay of the entertainment companies to force 3D on consumers so they can continue to churn out mainstream rubbish remakes.

  • Non obvious?! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zone-MR ( 631588 ) * <slashdot&zone-mr,net> on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:36AM (#32975840) Homepage

    I thought a requirement for patents was for the 'idea' to be non-obvious to a skilled professional in the field.

    I don't work in the field of display technology, but the second I read the headline I knew how it could be achieved with a trivial modification to the LCD shutter glasses.

  • by Errol backfiring ( 1280012 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:36AM (#32975846) Journal
    Using existing channel separation to (shock!) separate channels is really so obvious that I would never even imagine to apply for a patent. The US Patent Office should have lost its right to handle patents long ago, as they are only hurting society with their "we grant everything" attitude. They are not capable at all.
  • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:39AM (#32975862) Homepage Journal

    You realize that by only seeing half the frames produced by the TV, even if the resulting video appears to be 30fps in 3D, will by default be half the brightness of the original TV, not counting whatever light reduction (and you thought 3D glasses were dark already!) you get from the fancy 3D glasses.
    Eventually you're going to hit a point where you just say, "you know, let's just spring for the twin-screen 720p display glasses" for $1000 and call it a day. $700 for a pair of video glasses a decade ago was stupid money, now it's looking like a much better option for 3D.
    Fun fact: movie theater projectors only project light on the screen 50% of the time; the other half of the time is spent with the shutter closed while the film progresses to the next frame.... you just make up for the 50% reduction in light by using a $150 xenon bulb the size of a NFL regulation football that has to be handled with gloves, full face mask and shrapnel suit -> cool youtube video example (not me!) [] DLP projectors are much more efficient since about 90% of the light makes it to the screen (the mirrors are always moving, but there's still the color wheel) so they can use a smaller bulb.

  • by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:49AM (#32975906)

    "It's a game that benefits no one"

    Not true. It benefits the lawyers and the rest of the legal industry massively.

  • by pijokela ( 462279 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:20AM (#32976118)

    There is no point in challenging this patent: it is most likely a valid patent under the current rules. The problem is that the patent legislation allows patents that are obvious to be granted, because their interpretation of the word obvious is not the obvious, normal, interpretation. And EFF cannot help with bad laws.

  • by Michael Kristopeit ( 1751814 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:26AM (#32976190)
    the patent isn't about changing the angles... it's about multiplexing the video signal another order of magnitude to allow 2 people to see different full screen images at the same time. i have an optoma HD66 project that supports HD 3D... i tried it out with the sony shutter glasses... it looked worse than avatar and was more uncomfortable/headache inducing... so the technology has to more than double just to get the same unacceptable results, and when you add in the fact that player 1 might be in a dark cave and player 2 might be standing on the sun, the bleed between frames and stress on the screen lighting systems will be large, perhaps insurmountable, additional hurdles.

    i'd rather just take the current 3d tech, hack the 3d glasses and make both eyes flicker in harmony so only player 1 sees frame 1 (throught both eyes) and only player 2 sees frame 2 (through both eyes)... should already be able to do 2 player full screen with current tech.

  • BAH! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @09:14AM (#32976674) Homepage

    Why not something innovative like...

    Player 1 sees frame 1 NOT in 3d.
    Player 2 sees frame 2 NOT in 3d
    Player 3 sees frame 3 NOT in 3d
    Player 4 sees frame 4 NOT in 3d.

    Why? so all 4 players get the full screen for playing. eliminates the tiny square in the corner effect and makes the game a lot more fun for multi player.

    also it eliminates the douchebaggery of friends that look at the other windows to see where you are.

    3d is worthless, give us real advances in gaming.

    this also could be used for regular TV. I watch Show 1, the wife can watch Show 2 with headphones on.

  • by sea4ever ( 1628181 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:26AM (#32977556)
    I don't like this idea though. While playing games I usually would have my girlfriend present to cheer me on.
    Every so often she would cheer for someone else who had the highest kill streak at the time.
    With this system though, she'd have to switch glasses every few seconds. How would she scan each viewpoint to find the one most worth watching? This is only OK for the gamers..the spectators lose out a lot from this.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle