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U.S. Patent No. 7,618,322: Game system, storage medium storing game program, and game controlling method
Issued Nov. 17, 2009, to Nintendo


Summary:

The ‘322 patent describes a game with a controller with an operation surface that produces an audible percussive sound when subjected to a physical impact. The controller generates audible sounds in response to an elastic deformation of the striking surface. The sounds are generated whenever a player beats on the controller and the game process is changed depending on the volume (determined by how hard the strike is) value of the operation sound.

Abstract:

A game system includes a game apparatus, and the game apparatus is connected with a monitor and a percussion-type controller. When a game player beats a first beating operation surface or a second beating operation surface, first operation data is input from the controller to the game apparatus. Furthermore, when a microphone detects an operation sound generated at a time that a beating operation is performed, second operation data including volume data is input from the controller to the game apparatus. In the game apparatus, when a magnitude of the volume data is equal to or more than the predetermined threshold value, an ability value as to an action of the player object to be executed according to a command indicated by the first operation data is changed to execute the action.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A game system for displaying a game image including a player object operable by a player on a display apparatus, comprising: a controller device having an operation surface that produces an audible percussive sound when subjected to a physical impact, said controller also generating an operation data input signal in response to an elastic deformation of said surface by a physical impact; operation data detector programmed logic circuitry configured to detect one or more operation data input signals generated by said controller device in response to a beating of said operation surface of said controller device by said player; an audible sound detector that detects one or more audible percussive sounds produced by said beating upon the operation surface of the controller or by other audible percutient player actions; volume value determining programmed logic circuitry configured to determine a volume level value for an audible percussive sound detected by said sound detector; and game processing programmed logic circuitry configured to change a game process in response to an operation data input signal when both an operation data input signal and an audible percussive sound are detected as occurring together within a predetermined time period.


U.S. Patent No. 7,594,847: Squad command interface for console-based video game
Issued Sep. 29, 2009, to Microsoft


Summary:

The ‘847 patent provides for a squad-based game whereby the player can select characters and give commands which the computer characters will obey. The user interface contains character profiles of one or more of the multiple characters and icons associated with the character profiles that represent the current commands. The player uses the D-pad on his Xbox controller to pull up the command menu, and can then select a command which will be directed at the rest of the squad.

Abstract:

A squad command interface for a squad-based shooter video game maps character selection and command selection to actuators on a game controller. Players can select squad characters and issue a single order to multiple characters with few controller actuations.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A user interface for a squad-based shooter video game system executable by one or more processors of the video game system and displayable on a screen associated with the video game system, the user interface comprising: an indication, displayable on the screen, of current commands that are issued to individual characters of a squad of multiple characters; and an interface displayable on the screen, to enable a player to issue simultaneously a common command to a plurality of characters of the squad by actuating one or more actuators on a game controller pertaining to the video game system, wherein the plurality of characters is less than all of the multiple squad characters, and wherein the squad-based shooter video game is configured to enable the player to concurrently, with a single actuation of an individual actuator of the game controller, select the plurality of squad characters, the plurality being an integer greater than one and less than all of the multiple squad characters, and invoke a command change user interface displayable on the screen, and wherein at least a portion of the user interface is persistently visible on the screen during play of the game, and wherein said single actuation initiates display of the command change user interface on the screen in which at least a portion of the video game is viewable through the command change user interface, wherein the interface comprises: a first graphical user interface to enable player selection of the multiple squad characters; and a second graphical user interface comprising the command change user interface, wherein the second graphical user interface contains command icons of possible commands that can be issued by actuating at least one of the actuators, the command icons being arranged to map visually and spatially onto the at least one actuator.


U.S. Patent No. 7,637,817: Information processing device, game device, image generation method, and game image generation method
Issued Dec. 29, 2009, to Sega


Summary:

The ‘817 patent describes a method of playing a game with a gun-like controller which uses infrared light to accurately reflect the player’s movements by using detectable waves. The controller allows the player to move around in a three-dimensional world and have his movements accurately mapped out on the screen. Whenever a person locks the target onto an object, the screen will change to give the player the optimal view point.

Abstract:

Provided is technology enabling the generation of images of high realistic sensation upon accurately reflecting the operator's behavior. The information processing device has a controller to be used for inputting an operational instruction, and having a function of outputting a detectable wave to be used for detecting its own position and direction; a plurality of sensors for detecting the intensity of the detectable wave transmitted from the controller at mutually different positions; a position/direction calculation unit for calculating the position and direction of the controller in a real space based on the ratio of the intensity of the detectable wave detected with each of the plurality of sensors; an image generation unit for generating an image reflecting the operational instruction input with the controller, and the position and direction of the controller calculated with the position/direction calculation unit; and a display unit for displaying the image generated with the image generation unit.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A simulation apparatus, comprising: an information processing device; a monitor display connected to said information processing device; operational means connected to said information processing device, configured to be operable by a player and having radiation means which radiates a detectable wave expanding toward said monitor display; and a plurality of detection means disposed at mutually different positions along peripheries of said monitor display, each of said detection means being configured to detect intensity components of said detectable wave in three-dimensional directions; wherein said information processing device comprises calculation means which calculates positional coordinates of said operational means in a real space in front of said monitor display and an aiming direction of said operational means based on ratios of the intensity components of said detectable wave detected by said plurality of detection means at said different positions, wherein said information processing device is configured to: (a) calculate a scene including a first object and a second object in a virtual three-dimensional space; (b) display on the monitor display the scene viewed from a virtual viewpoint wherein said first object is located behind said second object when viewed from said virtual viewpoint in the virtual three-dimensional space; (c) convert, while the virtual viewpoint remains as set in (b), the calculated positional coordinates and the calculated aiming direction of said operational means in the real space into positional coordinates and an aiming direction in the virtual three-dimensional space so that a position of a virtual shooting point aiming at said first object along the aiming direction is set off the virtual viewpoint, which is set at the location as in (b), in the virtual three-dimensional space; and (d) determine if the converted aiming direction extending from said shooting point hits said first object.

U.S. Patent No. 7,621,813: Ubiquitous unified player tracking system
Issued Nov. 24, 2009, to Microsoft


Summary:

The ‘813 patent provides for the use of a single-name for people who wish to play online games. In Microsoft’s case, this invention applies to what we know as Gamertags, which are personalized names picked by a user whenever he registers for Xbox Live. This gamertag becomes the player’s own personal identification name, and allows other players to recognize him whenever he is online. The invention allows a player’s information to be stored under the gamertag, including all accomplishments, stats, and awards achieved during a game. The player also has the ability to have his accomplishments (such as unlocking an achievement while playing an Xbox game) tracked when he is offline. Whenever a player logs back onto Xbox Live, the accomplishments achieved when offline are uploaded to the player’s account and can be viewed and tracked by his online friends.

Abstract:

Systems and method for providing a single sign in a gaming console that associates online activity that is out-of-game/cross game, and/or online activity that is in-game, and/or activity that is offline and in-game with that account. While online, a service tracks activity of gamers and provides usage statistics in a profile. While offline, the game console tracks the player's activity via a mechanism to collect detailed information about a specific player's in-game statistics and accomplishments. The offline activity is cached and uploaded when the console connects to the online service. Players can accumulate achievements offline that are credited towards online activities.

Illustrative Claim:

1. In a gaming console, a method of providing a unique player identity, said method comprising: receiving a credential, at the gaming console, associated with a profile for a user; validating the credential; executing a videogame while the gaming console is offline, executing including executing a play of the videogame only on the gaming console; determining that an achievement associated with the videogame has been earned during the play of the videogame; caching offline user activity, at the gaming console, the offline user activity occurring during the play of the videogame; and transmitting, from the gaming console, when the gaming console is online subsequent to the play of the videogame, a signal indicative of earning the achievement to a service provider configured to publish the profile for the user in an interactive guide accessible to remote user devices, wherein the profile includes a username, a picture chosen by the user, videogame statistics accumulated while playing videogames, information indicative of affiliations of the user, and videogame achievements earned while playing videogames.

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