Sony patents 3D multiplayer system without split-screen

Tuesday, 20th July 2010 17:19 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Sony’s filed patents that would allow for two people to play games in 3D without using split-screen mode.

Found by Broke My Controller, the patents were filed last year, and became available online last week. In the schematics, Sony describes the tech’s ability to render separate images on one screen, which are filterd by 3D glasses.

“Stereo 3D is all about generating two different images – one per eye. The glasses work by making sure that the right images are sent to the correct eyes,” Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter explained to Eurogamer.

“The theory here is that instead of having stereo 3D, the glasses each point to either the left or right “eye” view, which will be the view of each player in-game. So two screens are being generated, one goes to each player. Simple!”

So, in order to play co-op with a pal, instead of playing in split-screen mode, players would choose the stereoscopic setting so that each player would only see their own character’s point of view on the screen.

The patents can be looked at over on FreePatentOnline, and you will notice the 3D glasses also sport earbuds which is a bit interesting.



  1. Mad-elph

    This is actually a really cool idea. I mean how many times have you taken a quick look at your mate’s screen when playing multi… Oh how golden eye trained us to cheat!

    #1 5 years ago
  2. reask

    I hate split screen.
    I just find it harder to concentrate.
    At least thats what I tell the little one when she whops me on MW2. ;)

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Canalla

    Awesome idea, i’m not into 3D right now. But count me in anytime when this works

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Erthazus

    Freakin’ awesome idea but it is still far away till we will see that. But it’s a great start.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. JPickford

    It’s a pretty obvious idea. No way should it merit a patent.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Mad-elph

    @ 5. funny that the most obvious ideas patented make companies millions… So sony will gain from the others copying it later. Remember the rubble controller issue, simple idea that cost em lots.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. theevilaires


    #7 5 years ago
  8. ninjanutta

    this is what makes sony so good,its innovation,if they pull that off it will demolish the competition.bring it on

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Nozz

    If they can pull this off it’ll be pretty damn impressive!

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Gama_888

    that sounds pretty fukin good.
    thats is easily the best thing iv heard come out of 3D so far.
    real innovation :)
    i wonder if it could be 4 player?
    or maybe even more?
    wonders of what the future will hold, we may all have our own pair of 3D glasses soon :)

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Dr.Freeman

    wow, this is very intelligent, but i wonder if the quality will be the same coz when i play like COD in split secreen u’ll notice that the graphics will be lowered to allow ur console playin two deferent areas n sounds together at the same time..but i guess nothin is impossible with todays tech, seems like am going to save my money 4 the 3D TV instead of that silly motion controllers.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. spiderLAW

    hell fucking yes please!

    #12 5 years ago

    tricking your eyes like this will surely only cause migraines.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. theevilaires

    who needs online mulitplayer when your friends can come over and you all can play 4 player 3D offline with 12 other bots.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. DrDamn

    Why? There is no 3D effect to resolve, you’re not really tricking anything, just showing and hiding. Refresh rates per player will be nice and high (60 fps – even if the game runs at 30fps). So it’s similar in some respects to watching a normal tv for example.

    #15 5 years ago

    I could be wrong, but the way that I understand it, this idea involves forcing your eyes to see alternate frames on the screen.

    So 3D works by doing the same thing per eye. i.e. Left eye is ‘covered’ while right eye sees, the right eye is ‘covered’ while left eye sees, etc.

    I’m pretty sure it’s this high speed flickering that makes your eyes have to work really hard to ‘figure out’ what’s going on that causes some (many) people headaches, nausea, etc.

    The above idea seems to use a similar mechanic, except it ‘flickers’ the image to both eyes at the same time, rather than to each one alternately.

    So basically, it looks like the same migraine inducing technology that we were recently warned not to play for more than a couple of hours without taking a break.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. DrDamn

    In this case each eye is seeing exactly the same thing though, there is no forced 3d recognition. There may be some affected by headaches, but it should be less than 3D.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. HighWindXIX

    @16 Ya know, technically speaking, depending on what kind of tv you have, that image is already flickering a whole bunch of times every second. If you have one of those fancy new LED/LCD tvs with a 240 hz refresh rate, the image is appearing and disappearing on the screen 240 times a second. I don’t see that being much different that glasses flickering in sync with the already flickering tv. And just so we’re clear, all tvs flicker, just at different rates. Maybe its 60 times a second, or a 120, or maybe 600 or maybe even 96 if you’re watching a blu-ray that’s running at 24 frames per second and your blu-ray player can output 1080p/24 and your tv can properly make use of the signal.

    #18 5 years ago


    TV/monitor refresh rate, video game/Blu-Ray refresh rate and PAL/NTSC refresh rates are all very different things to current 3D alternate frame sequencing technology.

    When you look at a monitor/TV, you get an uninterupted stream of the same image being refreshed over and over again. On modern products, such as LCD monitors/LED TV’s the backlight runs at about 200Hz, which means that you don’t get much of a flickering effect, if any.

    On older products, such as CRT monitors, the entire screen gets refreshed over and over again at a rate of anywhere between 60-100Hz. this is still not the same sort of flickering as alternate frame sequencing, but it can still have an effect on your eyes. I for one, can instantly tell if a CRT monitor is running at anything less than 72Hz@1024×768, because the instant that I look at one, the back of my eyes begin to hurt.

    Anyway, with alternate frame sequencing, the flickering is different to what you’re talking about. What it does is actually stop your eye(s) from seeing, when they’re expecting a smooth ‘signal’ to send to your brain.

    Imagine there was a digital frame with two pictures alternating every second (and no backlight). One of Pat, and one of Steph, for example… Now imagine that you’re standing in a room with no windows where someone is turning the light on and off every other second so that you can only see the image of Pat. Your eyes have to adjust to the changes in light every time the switch goes on and off. Your pupils will be dilating and constricting constantly.

    Now imagine that they have to try and adjust to a black signal and a full 1080p image 60 times every single second.

    This clearly has an effect on our eyes, which is why it’s recommended for children under six to not play any 3D games whatsoever. Because it can potentially cause problems with their eyesight.

    Looking at a smooth image being refreshed on a monitor/TV is not the same thing.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. DrDamn

    True, but you have to concede that this is also not the same as 3D though, because there isn’t the resolution of the 3D effect.

    #20 5 years ago

    Yes. This isn’t the same as regular 3D.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. robmlufc

    Just likes sonys faith in the cell and rsx are going to pay off in the long run, no other current gen console could even come close to being able to do this.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. Gadzooks!


    Actually this is almost exactly the same as stereoscopic 3D, which both HD consoles already do.

    The only difference is that player1/player2 get alternate frames instead of eye1/eye2.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Kuwabara

    This is why i love the playstation. inovation in hardware/s, inovation in graphics, inovation in genres and game design breaking away from the norm. You look at wii, some inovation. Look at xbox, none what so ever! the best they come up with is kinect and it will fail. im sorry but using it as a invisble remote to change channels or move around has nothing to do with gaming. It’s a gimmick and those who disagree are stupid.

    #24 4 years ago

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