Random Microsoft patent could portend ‘first Natal shooter’


Patents, patents as far as the eye can see. Today’s is from Microsoft, a small start-up based in Redmond, Washington. It shows some sort of camera system for third-person shooters, something that CVG is already rumor-calling it “Natal’s first shooter.”

The gist:

A technique for controlling camera viewpoints in a third-person shooter video game is described. Scenes are depicted from a camera positioned behind and removed from a character that is being controlled by a player. As conditions change during the game, the camera is moved smoothly along a non-linear path between an ‘explorer’ viewpoint and a ‘ready’ viewpoint.

In the ‘explorer’ viewpoint, the camera is farther removed from the character to provide a wider angle of view of the battle terrain as the character moves about. In the “ready” viewpoint, the camera resides just behind the character to facilitate better aiming when the character is engaged in combat.

Selection of a camera viewpoint and timely movement between the two viewpoints are controlled to facilitate a more intimate feel with the character and to avoid having obstacles obscure vision of the character and/or reticle used to sight targets.

Bueller? See, that’s the problem when discussing patents. These things can be so abstract, and more often than not come to nothing, that it’s sorta like, “Meh.”

What Natal needs is a good hand-to-hand combat game, like a boxing or MMA. Boxing would be far easier to pull off—how do you replicate MMA ground work with Natal?

Get it, patent light bulbs, etc.