So... rumored Live crossgame chat/invite patent and PSN

Man

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For some years now it has been rumored that Live had a patent for a crossgame chat and invite system on consoles and that this prevented PSN from rolling it out. It has been said to exist in various developer firmwares in various time periods but it never got released due to various reasons like crashing, legal issues etc.

With the PSVita however these features are being rolled out from day one as an OS feature (strangely enough this linked trailer lacks the party room feature but it's there, promise!).
There are also talks that these features may be coming to the PS3 but who knows...

Is it possible to clear up the actual situation here?

Do Microsoft/Live actually have such a patent? Did the patent actually effect PSN or was it like the iPhone multitouch patent that practically has no real world effect?

Has the issue all along been PS3 memory?
That sounds kinda weird as well as the PS3 OS footprint has shrunk from 150MB+ down to ~50MB with various firmware upgrades. One would think they would sneak it in during that process..

They do actually have crossgame invites working with a few select games (Modern Warfare 2 being one example) where it will boot into that title and put you in the match after having accepted the invite even if you are currently playing another game. This is not a system standard however.

Oh, and there is crossgame text chat..

So what is the real story behind the lack of crossgame chat/invites on the PS3? Is it possible to clear it up?
 

gofreak

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The patent thing is and always was nonsense, IMO.

There's so many ways to skin a cat.

No x-game chat on PS3 has been simply down to QA issues, I would guess.
 

travisbickle

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It was just a cost that Sony did not wish to spend. For the rest of time companies will produce products with certain applications built in, if they become popular we will question why its competitors didn't do the same, when the reason is the competitors didn't (and still don't with regards to Sony ) think it was/is cost beneficial.
 

bobbytkc

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I am pretty sure it is a compatibility issue.it didn't come as a system standard in the beginning, and games already implemented voice chat within the game itself, so having it as an OS feature may mess things up. I am.just guessing though
 

bobbytkc

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ShockingAlberto said:
At first I thought they were waiting until they could charge for it with PSN+.

Now I think they just don't know how or just don't care to do it.
It is a feature on the vita though.pretty sure there is a technical reason
 

kneePat

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If it were a patent dispute I'd think Sony would just implement the feature and ask questions later. Also patenting something like crossgame chat is tough to defend on a totally different operating system, particularly one you don't have any stake in like MS.

More than likely its a design limitation, an oversight, and Sony is trying hard to find a work around but with the way the XMB works its very hard for things to run in the background while a game is doing its thing in my experience. The XMB overlay was practically a miracle when it was introduced, although its usefulness is certainly debatable considering you can't use many of things you think you can.
 

BoilersFan23

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Man said:
Do Microsoft/Live actually have such a patent? Did the patent actually effect PSN or was it like the iPhone multitouch patent that practically has no real world effect?
The patent MS has deals with custom soundtracks where it can cut out the music in any games and replace it with a custom sound of its choice.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect2=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&RefSrch=yes&Query=PN/6981918

I use to have links to other patents MS owned, but they were smaller such as headset jack in controller, controller light blinking when you get a notification, etc.

Has the issue all along been PS3 memory?
That sounds kinda weird as well as the PS3 OS footprint has shrunk from 150MB+ down to ~50MB with various firmware upgrades. One would think they would sneak it in during that process..
It's pretty much the memory. If people wonder why the XMB has to load each section instead of all sections, or why it took so long to add in-game XMB? It all had to do with not enough memory available. They designed PS3 figuring they'd only need the amount of RAM they had. Sony is more of a hardware company and probably wasn't aware of how much their software would use. While they've shrunk the OS footprint down, you probably noticed the amount of in-game features added since the whole firmware 2.4 has been slim. I really doubt there's enough memory to still make it work. I'm not sure if its true or not, but I believe that part of the 360 OS is even reserved for voice chat (where PS3 it isn't)? Also, some games don't even support XMB features in-game, which could also complicate cross-game chat. If people are already unhappy with the XMB running slow in-game, just imagine how much slower it would get adding the chat in-game. It really comes down to if the PS3 had extra RAM, it would have been much easier to implement the features (MS is a software company who can compress software down significantly, more so than Sony would be able to).

At least with PS Vita, they knew it was a wanted feature right from the get go, and were able to assure they'd have enough memory available to run the feature (along with play games up to the level they wanted).

Oh course too it could be that since all developers have to implement their own voice chat (instead of just being there to use), it could complicate things if Sony tried adding their own cross-game chat. Overall I don't know all the details, but definitely know memory has quite a bit to do with the issues going on.

They do actually have crossgame invites working with a few select games (Modern Warfare 2 being one example) where it will boot into that title and put you in the match after having accepted the invite even if you are currently playing another game. This is not a system standard however.
More of the issue with that is since many games right from the get go used their own invite system (and SCE basically gave devs online features as tools, but never really a standard set), it just won't work they way people may want it too. Personally I'm sort of glad because I really dislike being spammed by invites
 

rdrr gnr

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I'd bet my life on it being a technical issue. I couldn't imagine it coming at a more appropriate time than when PS+ was announced or when PSN went back up. I'm one of those people who absolutely want x-game chat, but I've realized this gen is almost over and have moved on.
 

Withnail

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Sony have learnt the hard way that there's only so much you can do with patches after releasing a console in an unfinished state. The PS3 at launch was a mess, there's no getting around that. It just becomes increasingly difficult to make fundamental changes to the OS without breaking the games that are already out there.
 

magicaltrevor

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At one point, they almost had it working, as it was supposed to be a feature with PlayStation Plus.

Check out this screen I made of the Dutch PlayStation website right after PS+ was announced at E3 last year.



My reply from the Vita line-up thread:

The online features for PS Vita look REALLY solid and awesome. Sony actually learned.
Wish some of these features would make their way to PS3 (specifically Group voice-chat).

It would be convenient, too, as you can chat/message with your PSN buddies regardless of what platform they're on. And if you're playing cross-play games, it would be weird to not be able to groupchat with everyone, but only with other PS Vita players.
But I guess that it's too late now. If they could, they would have already. :-(
 

zomgbbqftw

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I think Sony have the feature ready just like the new Webkit browser jeff_rigby has been investigating, but they are holding both features back until Vita and they will have a big 2.40 like fanfare for it when it does launch. Imagine cross game, cross device chat for anyone signed into PSN on PS3 or Vita.

Releasing such a massively requested feature right now doesn't really make sense, at least not from a marketing perspective, better to talk up platform standardisation once Vita launches IMO.
 

Sansana

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zomgbbqftw said:
I think Sony have the feature ready just like the new Webkit browser jeff_rigby has been investigating, but they are holding both features back until Vita
That would be so awesome. Waiting for Vita release isn't a big deal after waiting all those years but I'm afraid they might wait till PS4. As some people pointed out there were already plenty of occasions like PS PLUS premiere (and the screenshot provided by magicaltrevor proves that something was going on) or PSN return so I wouldn't get my hopes up. :(
 

Ninja Moomin

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it's not a patent issue - Vita has party chat and cross game chat.

Suspect we'll see them change the XMB to bring it in line with some of the things on vita later on this year.

Wouldn't it be awesome if you could chat with vita users cross game from your PS3????
 

magicaltrevor

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NinjaFusion said:
it's not a patent issue - Vita has party chat and cross game chat.

Suspect we'll see them change the XMB to bring it in line with some of the things on vita later on this year.

Wouldn't it be awesome if you could chat with vita users cross game from your PS3????
That's what I expected from them to showcase on E3 this year...
I mean, it wouldn't make sense not to, right?

Maybe it's not all ready yet and they're saving it for another conference or just an announcement-video on the PS Blog.
 

DangerousDave

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The problem of crosschat is that, being something that has to be active in any moment, is difficult to add this in the middle of the development of the OS (instead of the start), getting sure that nothing will be broken, that it won't have any memory cost that affect the functionality of the current or past games, that don't screw the existent local chat features of the released games, etc.

Is a kind of feature that is better to launch it in the start of the generation, when you don't have to care for the compatibility of any game (this is why Vita will have it since launch). When you have thousand of games, Is much easier to add features that can only be triggered when you are outside a game, so they won't affect the performance or create crashes in any released game.
 

Ellis Kim

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magicaltrevor said:
At one point, they almost had it working, as it was supposed to be a feature with PlayStation Plus.

Check out this screen I made of the Dutch PlayStation website right after PS+ was announced at E3 last year.

img]http://caemgen.nl/crossgamevoicechat.jpg[/img]

My reply from the Vita line-up thread:



But I guess that it's too late now. If they could, they would have already. :-(
You made indeed, lol.
 

max-pain

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http://forums.n4g.com/Cross-game-chat-and-why-its-currently-MIA-m700070.aspx

Cross game chat and why it's currently MIA.

I promised you all an update on Cross-Game chat, so here it is.

And you're not going to like it.


As I told you before, Cross-game voice chat has been in the works for a while now. I mentioned last time that it was on target for 3.0 providing that we didn't hit any snags. Well guess what, we hit a snag! An all too familiar snag.

Time for a history lesson.

How many of you remember what it was like before FW 2.4? That's right - no in-game XMB. No custom soundtracks. In-game XMB was the most heavily requested feature at the time and we worked tirelessly in order to get it in (By "we", I mean Sony Japan - as I said before, FW isn't my department). It very nearly didn't happen, you have no idea how difficult it is to backport a feature like that onto a system (the game) that doesn't even know its there, but somehow we managed it. Well, for most titles. There are still the odd few titles out there that don't support in-game XMB ("black" titles).
Custom soundtracks was another one we had working in nearly every title. Obviously it was never going to work in black titles, but about 95% of the titles that worked well with the in-game XMB, had custom sountracks working as well.

So what happened? Why is it that titles HAVE to be developed specifically with custom soundtrack support when it was working more or less just fine?

Is it because Microsoft owns the patent on custom soundtracks in games?

This is something that makes me laugh every time I see one of the less educated ones spouting it off. That's an absolute fabrication. Patents don't matter, Sony as a while infringes upon thousands of patents through the whole company, both hardware and software. If you infringe a patent, you pay royalties to the owner or find a different way of doing the same thing that doesn't infringe. That's it. Microsoft infringes upon all kinds of patents we own but that's up to legal to sort out.

No, the reason we had to drop Custom soundtrack support like that has nothing to do with Microsoft. It does, however, involve a different company. A rather large company.
You see, one of their games happened to fall into the 5% that didn't support in-game custom soundtracks. And they did not like this.
When they found out that a new firmware update was going to suddenly make one of their games look inferior to just about every other game released, they protested. A lot.
They threatened everything, from legal action to dropping support for the PS3 all together.

What could we do? There was almost no way of getting it to work correctly due to the way their game was made (i.e. Poorly) and we certainly couldn't leave a broken implementation in there. That's when the hard decision was made to remove all support for older titles and instead adopt the "opt-in" approach that, to this day, most developers simply ignore. I have to hand this to Microsoft - they did their system right from the beginning and by completely separating it from the developers, they have universal support. Its very unlikely that you'll ever see mandatory support for custom soundtracks in games on our system, I'm afraid.
So yeah, lets nail this on the head: The next time someone starts blaming Microsoft for something the PS3 doesn't have, tell them they're an idiot, they don't know what they're talking about. Are we clear on this? This is a pet peeve of mine because while everyone's happy to go around blaming Microsoft, the real culprits are getting off scott-free. Of course, I can't actually name them directly or, should I get caught, I might even get done for slander (you can never be too careful), but you can figure it out - it's not Activision and they have a poor history with the PS3.

So what has this got to do with Cross-game voice chat?

Guess.

I warned you that we might hit a snag and we did. We've found a couple of titles that just don't like it. Similar to the custom soundtrack fiasco, it can cause lag, crashes, desyncronisation (very very bad when this happens), you name it. It can't be used in these games and it just so happens that some of these games are owned by the same company I've been talking about above.
So we're in a predicament: Cross-game chat is useless if only certain games support it. It's not too bad if its just the odd one that doesn't like it, but at this rate we'd have to drop support for the ENTIRE back catalogue, which would (As I said) make the whole thing useless.
Furthermore, we can't rely on developers to implement direct support for it. It didn't work with Custom Soundtracks, so why would it work here?
So right now, we're trying every little trick in the book to find a solution that works for everyone, but don't hold your breath on this one, so far it looks like the best you're going to get is a gimped implementation of it that only works with a handful of new games.

Now as I said, FW isn't actually my department and even I'm not supposed to know some of this stuff, but this is actually where we are right now. It sucks majorly, but there you have it. Depending on the end result, it could come in FW 3.1 or it could come in FW 4.0, hell it might not even come at all but rest assured they are working very hard on it. And if it doesn't come, you know who to blame.
It's not Activision. It's not Ubisoft. It's not Capcom. It's not Insomniac. It's not Konami. It's not Take 2. It's not Midway. It's not Squaresoft. are wE All getting the picture yet? One point I want to reiterate - there's a difference between the games that didn't work with in-game XMB and the games that DID work with in-game XMB but DIDN'T work well with custom soundtracks, so stop picking out the ones that simply didn't do in-game XMB. Also, it wasn't just ONE game that caused this, either. Although one title does come to mind and it wasn't even what you or I would call a "Big" game. I'll give you a hint: HPatOofP
 

Adamm

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1-D_FTW

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gofreak said:
The patent thing is and always was nonsense, IMO.

There's so many ways to skin a cat.

No x-game chat on PS3 has been simply down to QA issues, I would guess.
Not only that, but this is why all the companies take out all these ridiculous patents. So they're armed with mutually assured destruction. Every company worth their salt is violating someone's "patent." The key is, it goes both ways. MS wouldn't sue, because Sony would turn around and sue MS for the 134 patents MS is violating. These patents are only issues when somebody goes bankrupt and they fall into the hands of patent holding companies.
 

Zoe

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BoilersFan23 said:
The patent MS has deals with custom soundtracks where it can cut out the music in any games and replace it with a custom sound of its choice.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect2=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&RefSrch=yes&Query=PN/6981918

I use to have links to other patents MS owned, but they were smaller such as headset jack in controller, controller light blinking when you get a notification, etc.
They have an application for cross game chat, but it hasn't been approved yet.
http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=H5OQAAAAEBAJ

Edit: this is the cross game invite patent:
http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=ky2hAAAAEBAJ
 

magicaltrevor

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staticneuron

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BoilersFan23 said:

It's pretty much the memory.
If people wonder why the XMB has to load each section instead of all sections, or why it took so long to add in-game XMB? It all had to do with not enough memory available. They designed PS3 figuring they'd only need the amount of RAM they had. Sony is more of a hardware company and probably wasn't aware of how much their software would use. While they've shrunk the OS footprint down, you probably noticed the amount of in-game features added since the whole firmware 2.4 has been slim. I really doubt there's enough memory to still make it work. I'm not sure if its true or not, but I believe that part of the 360 OS is even reserved for voice chat (where PS3 it isn't)? Also, some games don't even support XMB features in-game, which could also complicate cross-game chat. If people are already unhappy with the XMB running slow in-game, just imagine how much slower it would get adding the chat in-game. It really comes down to if the PS3 had extra RAM, it would have been much easier to implement the features (MS is a software company who can compress software down significantly, more so than Sony would be able to).

At least with PS Vita, they knew it was a wanted feature right from the get go, and were able to assure they'd have enough memory available to run the feature (along with play games up to the level they wanted).

Oh course too it could be that since all developers have to implement their own voice chat (instead of just being there to use), it could complicate things if Sony tried adding their own cross-game chat. Overall I don't know all the details, but definitely know memory has quite a bit to do with the issues going on.

More of the issue with that is since many games right from the get go used their own invite system (and SCE basically gave devs online features as tools, but never really a standard set), it just won't work they way people may want it too. Personally I'm sort of glad because I really dislike being spammed by invites
You sounded so sure when you started, then you throw in the "could be" in the middle that makes it seem like you are guessing. By you saying its the memory you are implying that the vita has "more" memory than the PS3 and you are also creating a unique question about the 360 since it has the same amount of ram. Are you willing to put for the idea that game code takes up more than 256MB during run time instead of the game assets?

Chances are it is about "backporting" and Sony found that it would be bad through testing and either working to fix it, or simply can't do so.
 

luxarific

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Although one title does come to mind and it wasn't even what you or I would call a "Big" game. I'll give you a hint: HPatOofP
I'm at a loss. Anyone know what this is?
 

Spaulding

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luxarific said:
I'm at a loss. Anyone know what this is?
Serious?

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

What about he forum post from Naughty Dog stating that CGC will be available soon? (this made around the release of UC2). Anyone remember?
 

Lagaff

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seeing it's on vita day one and not yet in ps3 i would say it's tech issue but it's an opinion can be something else
 

magicaltrevor

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Spaulding said:
Serious?

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

What about he forum post from Naughty Dog stating that CGC will be available soon? (this made around the release of UC2). Anyone remember?
Yes I do.

I guess that they ran into trouble again...
 

magicaltrevor

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Sansana said:
The funny part is when you google the ps3 cross game chat thing you see lots of news from 2009 an 10' saying 'yep, it's almost here'.
I used to be one of 'em. :-(

Ah well, most of the people I play games with will probably get a PS Vita anyway.
It's too bad you probably can't be signed in on your PS3/Vita at the same time, otherwise we could just use the Vita to partychat while playing online PS3 games.
 

plagiarize

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luxarific said:
lol, too funny. Can't believe Sony let that stop them.
i think it was more EA threatening to Dreamcast them, and i can believe that if indeed that threat was made by EA, that Sony would back down.
 

Man

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plagiarize said:
i think it was more EA threatening to Dreamcast them, and i can believe that if indeed that threat was made by EA, that Sony would back down.
The PlayStation family (lulz) is the majority of EA sales I believe so that sounds extremly unlikely.
 
Oct 26, 2007
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magicaltrevor said:
Yeah, I remember this.
I also remember the huge spamming by 4chan and GAF that followed on the EA blogs/forum after this. After that, the story was denied by both EA and Sony (of course).
omg the POO
 

max-pain

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Lagaff said:
seeing it's on vita day one and not yet in ps3 i would say it's tech issue but it's an opinion can be something else
Yes, it's totally looks like a technical issue. And that is why it will never come to the PS3, ever.