A freshly unearthed Sony patent has shown that the company is working on what appears to be a way to add new content to classic PlayStation games being emulated through the cloud.
The patent, filed in 2012 but released publicly yesterday through the United States Patent and Trademark Office, says that it will function as a framework that allows developers to introduce additional and modified content in a classic game--such as an iconic boss fight where players have less health--by creating snapshots of titles in an emulator.
Modified content could be introduced through this snapshot system, the patent explains.
"Finding new ways to play preexisting video games can increase the longevity of older games," reads the patent filing, describing its pitch for modified elements as mini-games. "In order to create mini-games without reverse engineering and recoding a game designer may rely on the use of triggers and snapshots to provide information needed for the mini-games without having to dig into the code of the legacy game.
"The mini-games may be made by providing an emulator with game inputs that bring the emulated game to a certain point where the mini-game will begin. A snapshot may be generated according to aspects of the present disclosure and that point may be used as the used as the starting point in the future mini-game. Thereafter, triggers may be generated in order to provide new experiences for the game."
Sony's patent--the catchily-titled "Suspending State of Cloud-Based Legacy Applications"--would likely integrate with cloud-streaming service Gaikai. Sony is yet to reveal its full plans on how, or precisely when, it will incorporate Gaikai into the PlayStation 4, but has mentioned that it wants PS4 owners to be able to stream PS3 games onto their new console.
More information on the patent can be found in this thorough analysis by Rösti on NeoGAF.