U.S. Patent No. 6,748,326: Information processing apparatus and method for displaying weather data as a background for an electronic pet in a virtual space
Issued June 8, 2004, to Sony


The ‘326 patent describes a system where the weather of a real space is reflected on the weather of a virtual space. The invention allows a player with an internet connection to connect to a weather server and download the current weather forecast for the area and then place the actual weather into the game being played. Here, the game described is for a virtual pet game. Thus, whenever the player selects a current weather pattern the weather will then be downloaded to the game and the pet will experience the same real-time weather as the human controller. This allows the game to have a more life-like feel since the player and the animal will both experience the same weather pattern.


An information processing apparatus and method as well as a program storage medium wherein the weather of a real space is reflected on the weather of a virtual space. A plurality of personal computers can communicate data with a weather server over a display section. The weather server provides the look of the sky imaged by a video camera as weather information. Each of the personal computers displays, for example, when it is operating with an application for an electronic pet, a weather of a virtual space in which an electronic pet lives based on the weather information provided from the weather server.

Illustrative Claim:

1. An information processing method, comprising the steps of: requesting weather data regarding a desired district from an external apparatus; receiving the weather data and information corresponding to a time at which the weather data was requested regarding the desired district from the external apparatus; displaying the received weather data and the information corresponding to the time as a background for an electronic pet in a virtual space; displaying a command display section along with the electronic pet said command display section including commands a user may activate to control the electronic pet; displaying a weather setting button along with the electronic pet; and displaying a setting window when the weather setting button is selected said setting window including acquiring options for acquiring the weather data.

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