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Microsoft Files Patents for Virtual Game Controller

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the metro-version-of-catan-draws-ire dept.

Input Devices 83

SmartAboutThings writes "A newly discovered patent shows that Microsoft might be interested in developing virtual controllers for tablets and smartphones. A while ago, it didn't quite make sense why Microsoft would need such a piece of technology, but with the announcement of their Surface tablet, it suddenly takes on a new perspective." I think a few board games (Catan comes to mind) would be pretty playable on a moderately-sized, shared touch surface, with everyone's phone acting as their hand.

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FUCK APPLE AND FUCK STEVE JOBS!!!!11 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40687881)

oh wait, this is a Microsoft patent...

Price Comparison (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40687907)

So instead of buying a $40 board game, one needs a $1000 Surface-compatible computer and 2-6 smartphones.

Re:Price Comparison (5, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40687925)

The only board game Microsoft understands in Monopoly.

Re:Price Comparison (-1, Offtopic)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688061)

And Microsoft Flight Simulator. That game's been around a long, long time. I had it on my 0.001 GHz commodore and it was extremely choppy. The frame rate was something like 2 FPS. Of course the reason it was so slow was because it had to redraw the whole 160x200 screen every time..... not the C64's strong point. (Of course Elite did the same thing but it was a much faster 20FPS... better programmers I guess.)

Re:Price Comparison (3, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688097)

There were only 8 words in my post. Is it so much to ask to read ALL of them?

Re:Price Comparison (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40688299)

Is it so much to ask that you type those eight words correctly? I'm not sure what games are *in* monopoly, but more power to Microsoft if it understands at least one of those games.

Re:Price Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40688681)

Is it so much to ask that you type those eight words correctly? I'm not sure what games are *in* monopoly, but more power to Microsoft if it understands at least one of those games.

BOARD. GAME. Those words fully made up a whole 25% of the words the GP used. 25%! What part of those words were typed incorrectly? The response to that regarding Microsoft Flight Simulator apparently had to understand AT LEAST that much of the sentence as evidenced by the response itself!

Or are you implying that Microsoft got in on the 70s-80s home board game craze a few years late and they made a Microsoft Flight Simulator board game? Because honestly, I'd buy that, as the concept sounds awesomely hilarious.

Re:Price Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40688851)

And what board games are IN Monopoly? Is there a community chest that launches the game of Life or yatzee I'm not aware of?

You can't complain about people not reading your words, when you can't type eight of them without screwing up.

Re:Price Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40689175)

Why not?

Re:Price Comparison (1)

Black LED (1957016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40689083)

Look at his username. He was foaming at the mouth to be able to mention his old Commodore, regardless of how off-topic it is.

Re:Price Comparison (1)

Sun.Jedi (1280674) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688131)

Whoosh. (I thought OP was funny)

Re:Price Comparison (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688241)

I did too and would have modded as such if I still had any points left. /. just keeps handing them over. I get about 5/day to 5/every other day. I guess they like my mod style.

Re:Price Comparison (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688139)

And Microsoft Flight Simulator. That game's been around a long, long time. I had it on my 0.001 GHz commodore and it was extremely choppy. The frame rate was something like 2 FPS. Of course the reason it was so slow was because it had to redraw the whole 160x200 screen every time..... not the C64's strong point. (Of course Elite did the same thing but it was a much faster 20FPS... better programmers I guess.)

Hey, I'm pretty sure Microsoft understands Solitaire.

Re:Price Comparison (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40688565)

I think Ballmer understands Reversi [youtube.com] better.

Re:Price Comparison (1)

FearTheDonut (2665569) | more than 2 years ago | (#40687979)

I don't think so.

Remember SmartGlass, announced at E3? I think this is the patent. Smartglass is a virtual game controller, and it is announced for Windows 8 tablets, Android, and iOS. So, perhaps a $199.00 Kindle Fire could be a controller.

Re:Price Comparison (1)

PetiePooo (606423) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688141)

Or, to look at Apple products, a $99 AppleTV, and a selection of iPhones, iPads, and/or iPods touches, which many people already have.

I don't know what Apple is waiting for. Seems like a simple thing for us to be sitting around the TV playing a game while we chat. Eg. Scrabble where the main board is up on the TV with the letters in each person's iPhone. When it's your turn, drag each letter off the phone and it appears on the TV to be positioned as desired. This would even work on many games in pass-the-pad mode. One iPad being passed from player to player with the main screen or scoreboard on the TV so all can plan or track the action.

I suspect it's not too far away, given AirPlay and rumors about apps on the ATV, but it's hard to know for sure with Apple's tight-lipped disclosure policy...

Re:Price Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40748299)

So instead of buying a $40 board game, one needs a $1000 Surface-compatible computer and 2-6 smartphones.

Yes then download all the board games you can stomach off Demonoid for $0 a piece.
What sort of crappy $40 boardgames are you playing anyway?

"Newly discovered patent" (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40687911)

That phrase right there communicates the state of the patent system. Finding out which patents exist take more research and effort than inventing the patentable items.

Re:"Newly discovered patent" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40688245)

How well do I remember the blood on the walls from the constant fighting that went on at home. It was usually Dad’s blood. Mom had thrown an object and cut him with it. As children, we would scream and cry in terror. My parents drank almost every weekend and the latter parts of the day!

We had a large family, too large. My Dad’s paycheck barely made ends meet. Food was scarce, alcohol was abundant and fear was my constant companion. Finally, my Dad had a nervous breakdown and was institutionalized. He would escape on weekends and come home. Sometimes he would do strange things, like set the house on fire. Our mom spent a lot of time away from home trying to find herself at the bottom of a bottle. Since my parents were away, my older siblings and I learned how to take care of the smaller ones. I remember beatings I didn’t deserve and welts that went deep in my flesh.

On one occasion, I questioned my mother’s decision. She was so angry; she beat me with a wooden stick. When morning dawned and I got ready for school, I had black and blue marks all over my torso. I put on long sleeves to cover the bruises. “What are you doing,” Mom asked? “I am trying to conceal the bruises, “I confessed. “Don’t do that, I want people to see that I beat you!” So off to school I went covered in the marks from my beating. On other occasions, I was refused water because I was a bed wetter. Most of us kids were because of the traumatic life we lived. Even when I was sick, I was refused water. So I resorted to the commode for a cool drink, as a result I contracted Hepatitis A. For thirty days, I laid in a bed sick, weak and hungry, unable to eat.

Not long after I recovered from my bout with Hepatitis, a beating from my father almost killed me. Shortly after that I became pregnant. My mother sent me packing and told me not to come back. Nine months later I had a baby girl. She was lovely with huge brown eyes and tiny little rosebud lips. In a few shorts months I was pregnant again, which led to an illegal abortion that was not only barbaric but also, very dangerous. I barely made it through.

Later, Marilynn, my little girl was taken away from me because of my drunkenness and drug use. I became pregnant again, this time I tried to terminate the pregnancy by throwing myself down thirty concrete steps in a warehouse where I worked. I was given a “therapeutic abortion” after seeing two physiatrists.

My life was a mess, I would do so many drugs that I would wake up in strange places, bruised, raped and at times left to die. Along with the drugs, I began to get deeper into witchcraft and meditate. I would invite strange spirits to come inside my body and empower me. I was possessed by more then ten demons.

I got married in an attempt to make some sense out of life. We were both lost and could not help each other. It was pitiful. When I told him I was carrying his child, he sent me for an abortion. I wanted the child and fought to save it. He won. I went and terminated the pregnancy. That sent me over the edge. Literally, I became hopelessly addicted to cocaine. I was becoming increasingly suicidal. I was living with the memories of sexual abuse, memories that I could not shake. I was sure my inability to say, “No” to sex was because I was forced to do it against my will as a young girl. With the memories from my childhood haunting me, and a lack of love from my parents, the abortions, the drugs and all that I had done, I was a “train wreck” waiting to happen.

Until, one day a woman named Linda Smith invited me to church. I was a drug addict who was dying of Hepatitis. I was loveless, lonely, hopelessly and my days were numbered. After refusing Linda’s invitations, I decided to take her up on her offer. That night, I sat in the church with demons in my head tormenting me and threatening me. I wanted to run but my legs were like jelly. I heard the preacher talk about a man named Jesus who loved the unlovely and forgave the unforgivable. “Would you like to know this Jesus,” He asked?

  I took the longest walk of my life. I fought the sprits that fought against my chance to be free, by getting up and walking down the aisle to the front of the church. What happened next was purely “supernatural.” The power of God went through me like liquid lava. It cleared my liver of the Hepatitis and delivered me from addiction. I was healed of mental illness and depression. I fell to the floor and laid there for what seemed like hours, it was barely three minutes. When I got up, I was a different person. The addiction was on its way out, my mind was clearing and I was on my way to complete recovery.

His name is Jesus!! He saved me, healed me, freed me and gave me a new life. That was over twenty years ago And I am still telling people that He is Alive and He is a God of Love and second chances. I have NEVER BEEN THE SAME!

You can also have this wonderful ‘supernatural” experience with Jesus Christ, by simply calling on His Name. He wants to set you free and heal your broken heart.

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Re:"Newly discovered patent" (3, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688405)

TrollFail -

You forgot to mention MyCleanPC

Re:"Newly discovered patent" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40688409)

damn, slashdot's really gone downhill. in the past the long ass copypasta would usually end with a hot gay orgy involving big cock black guys and various slashdot staff. now you read the whole shit and instead of a hot gay orgy it ends with some jesus freak bullshit.

Re:"Newly discovered patent" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40688941)

And it's actually lifted from a real blog [healingsexualtrauma.org]

Re:"Newly discovered patent" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40689611)

I was possessed by more, then ten demons.

You left out a comma, but I'd like to know...

* How many more?
* Why did all but ten of them leave?
* Did they come back and make you spew this drivel?

* Could you post more details about the beatings and rapes? Lonely basement dwellers gotta have something to masturbate to! The implied lesbian scene with you and Linda Smith would be good too...

* Finally, have you tried MyCleanPC? I hear it solves all your symptoms except the long-winded copypasta diarrhea...

Re:"Newly discovered patent" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40689139)

Well, it's not helped by evil sites like the one linked (patentbolt aka patentlyapple), whose report on a patent not only lacks a link to the USPTO (or other interface, e.g. patents.google.com) page for the patent, but doesn't even say the patent number -- making it a challenge for anyone else to post any news or analysis regarding this patent, other than by linking to their ad-whore page.

Re:"Newly discovered patent" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40690297)

Finally, an insightful comment with no bashing. For some reason I have a memory of this site having linux users but a pretty objective take on things. My memory may have rose colored glasses when it comes to the past but I rather tangents happen on this comment than, how can we bash Microsoft more. I get patents, hey we all saw "Flash of Genius" and we feel for the guy whose ideas were stolen by the large auto companies but some of the patents are downright crazy. The patent in the article is one of those defensive patents so no one else can claim it and sue them.

The Good Thing About Software Patents... (2)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40687929)

...is how easy it is to find prior art. I've played at least three games on my crappy old droidpad that had controllers.

Re:The Good Thing About Software Patents... (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688123)

You assume that just because there is prior art that the Patent Office cares about that.

Re:The Good Thing About Software Patents... (2)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688277)

maybe not the patent office, but the courts sure will.

When it all gets that far, IF it gets that far.

Re:The Good Thing About Software Patents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40689765)

yeah right, good luck providing "clear and convincing evidence" of prior art, I'm sure the judge will find you more convincing than the million dollar lawyers of the other side :-)

Re:The Good Thing About Software Patents... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40689459)

The patent referred to by TFA is either

www.google.com/patents/US8049719

www.google.com/patents/US8115732

or

www.google.com/patents/US20120105315

The claimed subject matter is using a camera to detect the position of user's fingers against a background and then control a game using the same. Not sure how easy it would be to find prior art.

Re:The Good Thing About Software Patents... (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40689709)

..so it's an eyetoy ? or like a bunch of other?

iirc saw this used in some mobile phone control concept sw too.

Re:The Good Thing About Software Patents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40689789)

Not sure if eyetoy detects whether thumb and index finger are making a closed loop around a virtual joystick.

Re:The Good Thing About Software Patents... (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 2 years ago | (#40698165)

Actually from the article the Microsoft controller sort of looks like an oversized NES controller with a screen that can display the controls within the pressure sensitive display area around the main display screen. The iPhone and Android can do this now (sans pressure sensitive) with some games although the controls are actually on the main screen. Of course a controller being like an oversized NES controller I would expect a huge jump in people with RSI. Personally the Wii U's controller does not look all that comfortable as well for long term use.

Personally when I play a game I normally look at the main screen and a second screen would be rather useless unless to me especially when playing action or FPS games.

SmartGlass (3, Interesting)

AVIDJockey (816640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40687937)

This seem like it's a logical extension/feature of their SmartGlass [appleinsider.com] intiative.

Will phones be the end of consoles? (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40687949)

I hope not. I'd rather play on a full screen TV with my surround sound system than squint at a tiny portalble or phone. But then I also prefer a full-sized desktop and a CD player (versus laptop or lossy MP3), and I know I'm in the minority. Things appear to be trending towards everything on a small laptop or phone device.

Re:Will phones be the end of consoles? (2)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688391)

Count me in. I am not a huge console fan, if a console fan at all. The last one I got was a Wii and I hardly play it. No PS3 and no XBox.
I do game on a PC though and I have it hooked up to a large HDTV w/surround sound and a powered sub that causes my neighbors to piss their pants a block away. I have laptops too, but I prefer those for business practical uses and not gaming. I would rather build a comp to my specs than have it go to some device that is pre-built with specs I don't like. WON'T ANYONE THINK ABOUT US GAMERS?!

Re:Will phones be the end of consoles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40689479)

Plus the fact that I would still rather have actual games with depth and complexity in them unlike 95% of games on phones. Also real controllers with actual buttons to press.

Combine (2)

BeerCur (627281) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688051)

So basically it's a combination of a virtual keyboard, like IPad, and a touch pad, like a laptop.

Re:Combine (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688737)

Worse than that, games like the port of doom to iPhone ALREADY DO EXACTLY THIS.

Microsoft files patent on broken phones/tablets. (1)

Sav1or (2600417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688053)

As a gamer who has spent about as much on controllers as I did on my console, I do not think this is a good idea.

Re:Microsoft files patent on broken phones/tablets (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40688643)

I'm glad this Micro$oft $hill got downmodded like he deserved.

We don't need jackasses like Sav1or making jokes about how they break their controllers in frustration playing games and then drawing the corrilary that they'd break their smart phone the same which would be really expensive.

Fucking $hill. I've flagged the post as inapprorpiate, and I hope to see him banned.

Touch control + standard TV/monitor (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688069)

The problem with using a tablet as a game controller is that it involves one of two things. Either the player will have to keep looking down at the controller, something for which the Wii U demos have been ridiculed, or the player will end up missing a lot of on-screen buttons because the player's thumb can't feel whether it's over the on-screen button or not. Perhaps the only gestures that would work are the sort of gestures used on a trackpad, one for each thumb.

Re:Touch control + standard TV/monitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40688187)

well there are patents out there that describe haptic feedback on touch surfaces. I imagine that new tablets/phones will start having theses sorts of screens so you can create a portion of the surface that feels different in real time and which would be software reconfigurable.

board games w/ cell phone support? It's been done. (2)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688073)

Look at Scrabble:

http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/04/scrabble-for-the-ipad-stir-in-some-iphones-and-its-the-best-1/ [engadget.com]

I would like to see more alternatives though.

William

Re:board games w/ cell phone support? It's been do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40689487)

The patent referred to by TFA is either

www.google.com/patents/US8049719

www.google.com/patents/US8115732

or

www.google.com/patents/US20120105315

The claimed subject matter is using a camera to detect the position of user's fingers against a background and then control a game using the same. Not sure how easy it would be to find prior art.

This is a bit too much (4, Insightful)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688099)

I'm all for gadgets, but why not just take the Catan board from the shelf and play?

Re:This is a bit too much (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40688237)

Why not just buy a magazine or newspaper instead of reading slashdot?

Re:This is a bit too much (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40688781)

Why not just buy a magazine or newspaper instead of reading slashdot?

Are you seriously comparing a board game with a newspaper? ... Wow. Just wow.

Re:This is a bit too much (3, Interesting)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688271)

why not just take the Catan board from the shelf and play?

Game setup and tear down time. Also, I remember when I was a kid there was a while when all of my siblings liked playing Monopoly on our home computer (I forget if it was win 3.1 or win 98). Anyway, in between all of the hectic things which went on in the house there were multiple saved games on the computer. Each file name had the names of the players in the title. When we'd find time to play, we'd find the file name with the kids that could play, and resume the game where it last left off. As players would rotate in and out, we'd just switch the file to the latest game that had those players.

Re:This is a bit too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40688285)

Or use the tablet surface to move pieces.

Are phones the new phalli?

Re:This is a bit too much (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688287)

No kidding. Catan is more fun when you get to tweak the rules to your liking. We play a variant where you play explorers, starting with some basic goods and flipping over tiles as you go. It leads to very uneven games where one player wins quickly, but it's still lots of fun, and keeps people interested in playing, rather than the standard variant where one person can pull ahead early and then the game isn't fun while you sit with no ability to even play the few cards you get. We also never play with the robber, too much direct conflict for most groups. 7 Rolls you just give half your cards to the person who rolled seven, instead of discarding them. Anyway, enough of this tangent...

Boardgames will always be better without a digital babysitter making sure you play by the rules

Re:This is a bit too much (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688343)

My family always played Scrabble with 11 letters each instead of 7, or maybe 12- however many filled up the tile holders. You got a faster moving game, better words and scores. Much more fun.

Re:This is a bit too much (1)

jansifae (175417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688311)

I'm all for gadgets, but why not just take the Catan board from the shelf and play?

What about playing in a car? It seems to me that virtual pieces being displayed on a LCD screen would be less prone to jostling then the real board.

Or what about on a camping trip where compactness is a desired feature? A single tablet could hold alot more board games then you'd normally have room for in the car.

Re:This is a bit too much (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688467)

I'm all for gadgets, but why not just take the Catan board from the shelf and play?

What about playing in a car? It seems to me that virtual pieces being displayed on a LCD screen would be less prone to jostling then the real board.

Fair enough, although I myself have always been a fan of 'road-trip bingo'

Or what about on a camping trip where compactness is a desired feature? A single tablet could hold alot more board games then you'd normally have room for in the car.

Board games (most of them, anyway) don't require constant power/charging. IMO, if you're in constant need of an electric source, you're not really camping.

Re:This is a bit too much (1)

andcal (196136) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688693)

Because the kids lost 2 of the white roads and 1 of the blue cities. And probably some of the soldier cards. And one of the dice.

Re:This is a bit too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40689209)

Sure but what do you use when you want to play Mega Man?

Re:This is a bit too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40689803)

Microsoft has a patent for this too. You can work around it by keeping the board on a bench or in a cupboard.

Re:This is a bit too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40690175)

I used to play computer risk with friends at school. We could finish a game in about an hour in the computer version where the board game version could take 3-4 hours to complete. The computer combat resolution was at the speed of a click and the computer automatically calculated and counted out armies for deployment. It also occurs to me that an electronic boardgame would allow players to be in different locations which would be awesome.

the computer is the perfect gamemaster (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40690313)

the computer is the perfect gamemaster, it knows the rules and wont let you make moves that aren't in the rules.

the more complex the board game is the bigger of a deal that really is.

HI! I'm Clippy Junior! (0)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688111)

HI!

I'm Clippy Junior!

Aren't you glad I'm here to be your friend and help you play your game!

(stands in front of zombie coming towards you so you can't target it)

Now, let's use your weapon.

First, did you remember to bring bullets?

You can buy more for $1000 in Microserf Bucks!

(pops up giant multi-panel Buy Bullets menus while the zombie eats your brain)

Maybe you should buy some soon - that zombie seems to be eating you!

Re:HI! I'm Clippy Junior! (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688449)

Eons ago when 'Clippy' was first introduced I went and bough a box of paperclips. Every time it pissed me off I took out a paperclip and bent the shit out of it. I have several really nice, large abstract objects I have built in the 90s. Then I discovered OpenOffice, and recently Libre Office. I am now at peace.

The end is nigh! (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688203)

1) Release Surface Tablet
2) Buy ATVI
3) Make WoW an exclusive for said tablet
4) Profit!!

Patent Virtual controllers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40688209)

Hey, "virtual controllers" exists from a LONG TIME!

Just check out all the Androids emulators...

Re:Patent Virtual controllers? (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688519)

GGNES on Android is pretty kewl too. You can't see the buttons, but you can customize where to put the NES controller buttons. best. emulator. ever.

Quick! Patent the Virtual Virtual Controller (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688225)

I'm going to patent the Virtual^N Controller. Any controller in the window of another controller will be covered. (:-)

Gaming (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40688283)

I think a few board games (Catan comes to mind) would be pretty playable on a moderately-sized, shared touch surface, with everyone's phone acting as their hand.

The handling of physical playing pieces, rolling dice, peeking at cards, etc is part of what makes board gaming so much fun. And some of that would be lost with such a setup.

I do, however, see the potential for new games built around such a setup. You have a chicken and egg situation though of how you get both the game and the infrastructure. Maybe, nintendo's upcoming console will give that a kick off (though I know next to nothing about it aside from seeing a controller with a screen in a photo at some point).

I suspect there's a while genre of board games that would be opened up by such a setup - the ability to handle lots of hidden stuff on the board basically. But I'm not a good enough game designer to actually come up with something :)

dreamcast did it (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40690337)

it was useful for some party games, showed your cards on the little lcd on the attachable pack on the controller.

Prior Art? (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#40688717)

WHAT THE HELL USPTO? Who is working there? Do they just rubber stamp everything?!

How is there not already prior art for this? The iPhone alone has hundreds, THOUSANDS of apps which already do this.

There is absolutely nothing involved in this patent that is not trivial and ALREADY IMPLEMENTED.

This is a patent which absolutely, unequivocally should have been denied.

Freaking patent system in this country is a joke. We need tort reform immediately. This is way out of hand.
So, what, now MS gets to sue every mobile app developer in the world?

Re:Prior Art? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 2 years ago | (#40689431)

Filed != Granted

Re:Prior Art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40689669)

Won't matter, even though the USPTO has recently doubled [youtube.com] its prior art research committee capacity.

Re:Prior Art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40689873)

The patent referred to by TFA is probably

www.google.com/patents/US8049719

www.google.com/patents/US8115732

or

www.google.com/patents/US20120105315

It claims using a camera to detect the position of user's fingers against a background and then control a game using the same. Not sure how easy it would be to find prior art.

Already out of date. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40688925)

Look here! I'm way ahead of them. Instead of a virtual controller, I have the real thing. This amazing device features not only Drag and Swipe, but also Touch and Grab. Instead of a random number generator and a picture of a dice, this product features real, dice-like, six sided cubes with dots on them which you can actually Throw! Currently supports one game and several different exciting rule sets! To top it all of the entire thing is made is made of environmentally friendly cardboard. Now available in your local toy-..um... gadget store.

The application itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40689023)

Why doesn't a site that talks about a specific patent at least provide the number or link to the patent in question?

Application #20120169610 VIRTUAL CONTROLLER FOR TOUCH DISPLAY
Filed December 29, 2010
It's also got a July 5, 2012 date, but I'm not sure what exactly that indicates.

If I understand the rules correctly, this means any prior art must have been published, sold, or publicly displayed before December 2009.

Patent Application [uspto.gov]

Nintendo's prior art from 2004 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40690219)

Let me read the first claim:

An input method for use with a computing device having a touch sensitive display including a touch sensor configured to detect touches of a digit of a user, the method comprising: detecting an initial digit down position on the touch sensitive display via the touch sensor; establishing a neutral position for a virtual controller at the digit down position; detecting a subsequent movement of the digit relative to the initial digit down position; determining a controller input parameter based on the subsequent movement of the digit relative to the initial digit down position; and generating a controller input message indicating the determined. controller input parameter.

Remove the "display" part and you have the trackpad that's in every laptop since the mid-1990s. Specifically, it appears to cover the control method of Metroid Prime Hunters First Hunt and Super Mario 64 DS, video games for the Nintendo DS that were first published several years before 2009.

Re:Nintendo's prior art from 2004 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40690407)

What is the publication number? Cant find this on google.

20120169610 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40691259)

Grandparent wrote:

Patent Application [uspto.gov]

USPTO wrote:

United States Patent Application 20120169610

Oooooh, THAT hand! (1)

Baby Duck (176251) | more than 2 years ago | (#40689433)

"everyone's phone acting as their hand"

Took me awhile to realize you meant hand of cards

.

Wow no one has ever thought of this before. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40689569)

So how does MS get a patent on something that I already have in no less than 4 application on my phone and have had on my phone for no less than 2 years?

Re:Wow no one has ever thought of this before. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40690281)

So how does MS get a patent on something that I already have in no less than 4 application on my phone and have had on my phone for no less than 2 years?

It's still a patent application, not a patent. Patent applications are published 18 months after they are filed. Is there still time to submit early Nintendo DS games as prior art?

Prior work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40689647)

This is by no means a new concept. Yay for completely dishonest and harmful patent filings.

Does the patent office even try to verify claims any longer?

Swear to god (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#40690683)

Somebody better go get a patent for playing an air guitar before one of these corps do.

Some of this patent is actually a novel idea (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 2 years ago | (#40696309)

At first glance the idea is a total rip-off of PSXDroid and a multitude of other emulators available for iOS and Android.

But if you look at the patent detail one of the concepts is to add a pressure sensor beneath the capacitive touch glass, which allows you to not only sense where the input is coming from, but also the amount of pressure being applied - thus allowing an analog input using the capacitive touch display. That could give new capabilities for gaming.

But, most of the claims in this patent have ample prior art.

Catan already available for Surface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40710185)

IIRC, it was two years ago that they made Catan for MS Surface:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdUFT01vzyI

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