Sony Patent Hints At Crowdsourced Ratings System

This is a difficult one to decipher. It seems that Sony filed a patent in November 2010 which has just come to light. It registers the idea that data could be collected, averaged and used to indicate whether other users would enjoy certain games.

It seems to work by measuring how long you spend playing certain types of game, as well as some other data like reaction times and success rates. It then mixes that with some data you presumably provide like age, gender, etc. and provides recommendations to others with similar metrics.


Basically, it will learn your tastes and tell you about games which should appeal to you.

Sounds pretty interesting and this is the first we’ve seen of it. It also seems to be cloud-based, although provision is there for the system to be solely based on single consoles. One quote is quite amusing:

Other observational player data can be collected. For instance, a sound recorder, integral with camera and/or console can be used for voice recognition to determine when expletives are used or when sounds or tones of contentment, triumph, anger or excitement are uttered.

So, big brother is watching you swear at spawn campers and then telling me that my blood pressure probably won’t want me to play that game. Interesting. Anyone else think the “sound recorder, integral with camera and/or console” mentioned above sounds a little bit like those Orbis drawings we saw a while ago?

Many patents come to nothing, of course, but it shows that Sony is at least considering how to improve their ratings systems and how to make fuller use of their network.

This is all being dug over on NeoGAF where the poster is asking whether it lends credence to the rumours that Sony is buying up a cloud gaming platform and implying that it might be part of a large scale app-based reinvigoration of the XMB. It certainly seems like a system designed to work on the cloud.

Source: freepatsonline (PDF)



  1. Very interesting.

  2. Uhoh! Cookies for games and targeted adverts?

  3. I don’t like the idea of voice data being collected, but the normal data collection that goes on now, like time played, is fine. A system like this could theoretically bring less of the generic shooter types of games, as the enjoyment of titles like Journey could be shown through more than critical reviews.

  4. Not going to pretend I understand it entirely, but isn’t the Vita’s Near Buzz Rating chart thing similar to this?

    • I’ve had a Vita since the end of December and I still have no idea what anything in Near is about.

      • Well, I checked in once in the whole two weeks I’ve had my Vita, and apparently the most played game around me is Disega 3…still not sure how it’s useful other than that though.

      • the only thing i got from near was that some psn friends shared stuff like unlocked ost, new costume for characters and so on. i shared to puzzle pieces from rayman, but i think no one took them.

      • I must have unlocked 30 or 40 soundtracks for Stardust now, but i can only access the default soundtrack when i play it.. :?

    • I was about to say exactly that! It seems exactly what Near is doing (only without much recommending stuff… yet!)

    • Yes, its pretty much the same thing.

      • Near still confuses me, and keeps on claiming I’m always in the model of a forest 20 miles away, with about 20 people in that area like elves or something. The GPS is borked. :/

  5. I’m guessing this will tie into the mid game adverts. I think it would report a lot of gamers to the police due to campers and death threats.

  6. Sounds almost like Genius on iTunes, although the data collection makes it sound like they’ll sell that to advertisers.

  7. the game measuring thing sounds like it’s just there to justify sending you ads.

    but monitoring any mike you might have connected?
    that just sounds really creepy, and i’d bet unless it’s something they explicitly tell you about and give you the choice to opt out of, it’s probably also illegal.

  8. Like the “brilliant” PSN recommendations? No thanks.

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