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Sony patent concerns cloud-based game emulation

Sony has filed a patent for technology that concerns the emulation of games over the cloud, and taking snapshots of the games in question to produce new rule-sets and modifiers.

The patent was filed in 2012 but was published today under the title, "Suspending state of cloud-based legacy applications."

It concerns, "An emulator configured to operate on a network," and reads, "Finding new ways to play preexisting video games can increase the longevity of older games. Instead of replaying the same level or completing the same missions repeatedly, gamers often desire new challenges when replaying legacy games. In response to this need, game designers have begun to produce mini-games.

"Within a mini-game, the gamer can be instructed to complete new objectives or challenge their friends for high scores in a format that was not originally designed into the legacy game. Further, since the mini-game is derived from a legacy game, the gamer already knows the characters and basic components of the game, and is therefore more likely to play the mini-game."

The patent suggests that these 'mini-games' could be something as simple as changing up the rule set of an existing title to create new challenges.

Sony's patent continues, "The mini-games may be made by providing an emulator with game inputs that bring the emulated game to a certain point where the mini-game will begin. A snapshot may be generated according to aspects of the present disclosure and that point may be used as the used as the starting point in the future mini-game."

Throughout the document, these rule-sets and modifiers are applied to an existing game via what Sony calls 'a snapshot,' that can be applied over a network. Further on in the filing, Sony writes, "Game designers may then develop a script and combine it with the snapshot and triggers to produce the mini-game. Therefore, in order to design mini-games in this manner, there is a need in the art for a method of quickly generating snapshots."

This could be where the cloud comes in.

It's unclear exactly what this technology would be used for and if it has anything at all to do with Sony's acquisition of Gaikai's cloud streaming tech, but we'll keep an eye on the matter moving forward.

Any wild guesses folks?

Via IGN.

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