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Sakurai Patent Application Details 'Weapon Fusing'

by Alex Culafi - February 4, 2012, 12:01 am PST
Total comments: 9 Source: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2011/0319167.htm...

Nintendo has applied for rights to a previously-unannounced StreetPass feature... and it might just be in reference to Kid Icarus: Uprising.

A patent application that credits Masahiro Sakarai as inventor details a feature for an unspecified shooting game involving transmission between two systems (StreetPass) and a process for fusing pairs of in-game weapons together.

The application was published on December 29, 2011 and filed by Nintendo last June 9. Specifically, the patent mentions that each piece of data (referred to as a "seed") in the exchange represents a weapon, and when two systems meet, an option appears where the two weapons can be fused to generate a new weapon. The fusion costs coins (or hearts in the case of Kid Icarus). The patent also describes how game progress (e.g. experience level) carries influence on weapon availability for the sake of retaining game balance. Additionally, weapons set to transmit cannot be equipped by your character. The application cites examples of guns with different firing ranges and powers and a "magic stick." The gun and stick can fuse to create "a weapon capable of firing and using magic." Specific weapon stats are determined randomly from a pre-specified range, and include attack power, elemental ability, stamina, shooting range. Fusion is not limited to StreetPassed weapons, but can include two weapons found in treasure chests in single-player play.

Although no specific game was named, all evidence points towards Kid Icarus: Uprising, which Sakurai directed. Most notably, a patent application published one week before detailed the recently announced sliding difficulty feature in Uprising, with all four of the inventors (including Sakurai as the primary one) listed in the newer patent appearing in the older one. The weapon fusing patent also references the difficulty feature and other aspects of Kid Icarus: Uprising. Three other applications describe various parts of the camera and shooting system employed by the game. Rather than a 3DS, the patent applications show a Nintendo DSi as the example system, indicating that such features have been in planning for some time (the equivalent Japanese patent was filed for on June 11, 2010).

Kid Icarus: Uprising features an extensive weapon system, and if this patent application is in reference to the game, more information may become available closer to its March 23 release date.

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Talkback

KDR_11kFebruary 04, 2012

While it sounds like an interesting idea I strongly oppose the patentability of such things.

darkone008February 04, 2012

Why?

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusFebruary 04, 2012

It's basically procedural generation of data. Whether it's for games or otherwise, it's part of the fundamental building block of computing. It's like patenting E=mc2 or EK=1/2mv2. You don't patent fundamental ideas or gameplay mechanics.

What should be patentable is the product as a whole, not it's parts nor the idea of the product. Patenting things like this is why there is a Hot war in patents where everybody loses except for the lawyers.

KDR_11kFebruary 04, 2012

Software patents are extremely restrictive, impossible to enforce properly (but heavily used for blackmail), often overbroad and have a duration that is far too long for the environment they're used in. Software is adequately protected by copyright law which is much easier to deal with than patent law and much less prone to abuse.

ShyGuyFebruary 04, 2012

When you combine Thor's hammer with Captain America's Shield, you have the most powerful combined weapon in the Marvel Universe!

joshnickersonFebruary 04, 2012

Considering how often Nintendo gets sued, I would say these patent applications are simply just their lawyers covering their asses. I doubt they'd go after anyone who comes up with a similar concept, but lord knows there are plenty of "patent squatters" who would.

Luigi DudeFebruary 04, 2012

Quote from: ShyGuy

When you combine Thor's hammer with Captain America's Shield, you have the most powerful combined weapon in the Marvel Universe!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/luigidude/jlaavengers4.jpg

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusFebruary 08, 2012

This is why Nintendo shouldn't be able to patent this. Of course it doesn't deal with the fact the patent system is outdated, broken and corrupt.

CericFebruary 09, 2012

Quote from: oohhboy

This is why Nintendo shouldn't be able to patent this. Of course it doesn't deal with the fact the patent system is outdated, broken and corrupt.

That should have not been patentable because its an obvious advancement.  That's like patenting building buildings on prepared land that has electricity back when electricity was in its infancy.

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