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Top 8 Weirdest Patents Major Gaming Companies Have Ever Filed

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Top 8 Weirdest Patents Major Gaming Companies Have Ever Filed

We’ve seen some incredible innovation in the video gaming industry over the years. But sometimes great ideas work better in theory than they do in practice. In fact, sometimes they just don’t even look very good in theory, either. Here, we’re recapping the weirdest patents & trademarks major gaming companies have ever filed.

If you’re a fan of this content then you should check out similar lists we’ve written, such as times video games promised us world firsts and flopped, or misleading game trailers that looked nothing like the final product.

Inflatable Cars

Racing games are just better with a steering wheel, and even more so down at the local arcade sitting in one of those model cars. It’s all about the immersion, man! Of course, not everyone has the space for that at home.<br><br>

Enter the inflatable vehicles Nintendo Wii peripheral: the 2012 blow-up racing kart designed to transport you back to the arcade from the comfort of your front room. Sound good? No, didn’t think so.<br><br>

I doubt it would have fared any better in practice, either. The patent touts “life-like in construction,” but I’m not sure I’ve sat in many cars that felt as squidgy as one of those banana boats you see being towed behind speedboats.<br><br>

Oh! Now there’s an idea, maybe this could be brought back as VR experience in 2018?

Electrostatically Enhanced Game

Here’s another patent from a designer attempting to create new levels of immersion in video games. This time, though, I think the entire concept might be pushing things a little too far.<br><br> Electrostatically Enhanced Game patent speaks to a device designed to shock players with an electrostatic charge to upon the occurrence of a predetermined event in the game.<br><br>

Now look, rumble vibration is one thing, and the whole concept of 4D gaming complete with sensations like smell sounds appealing enough, but getting shocked every time you make a mistake? That sounds like some sort of weird torture designed for sadomasochists. No thank you.<br><br>

I’m not sure this was ever going to pass the health and safety regulations of the arcades it was targeting.

Wii Game Controller

After Nintendo Wii-fever had taken the industry –and the world– by storm, the big N was obviously keen to keep the hardware’s motion control momentum rolling. That led to some very out of left field ideas, ranging from the clever to the completely absurd.

The game controller in question was supposed to work across a multitude of different peripherals. Our personal favorites are the skateboard and bicycle pictured here.

How on earth did Nintendo think these were ever going to work? Perhaps it was just a case of patenting everything they could think of in case something stuck?

Video Game Timer

We likely all have memories of our parents banning video games as punishment for bad behavior, but just thank your lucky stars they never had this nasty device.<br><br> Targeted at parents looking to regulate their children’s playtime, the timer was designed for 80s ROM-based games, attaching to the console and then cutting the power according to the inputted specifications. Evil!

Although you might be surprised to discover similar devices are still being invented to stop modern children from playing multiplayer games. The VexBox is a device that throttles internet connections to speeds that make scoring Victory Royale in Fortnite impossible.

American Football Controller

How could we resist throwing one more Nintendo Wii-era patent on this list? We couldn’t, and throw is certainly the primary word in this case. This American Football Controller was essentially a model football with a Wii Nunchuck strapped to the side.

The concept is easy enough to grasp –Nintendo was essentially trying to cover every sort of activity motion controls could simulate. But can imagine what would actually happen if you gave children this remote? Yeah, you can kiss goodbye to the TV, best china on the mantle piece, and any windows within 20 feet.

Sony’s Commercials to Games Device

Sony’s idea to turn commercials into mini-games is both hilarious and terrifying. The patent aims to turn the tedium of advertisement breaks into interactive experiences, presumably in a bid to tempt players into purchasing items

The various images that accompany the patent are more than a little disturbing. Watching the sketch of a man placing a pickle inside the burger it just ordered with what looks like a PlayStation Move controller reminds me of those 80s sci-fi movies that got their vision of 2018 completely wrong.

Microsoft’s Mood Detection Patent

As if you needed another reason to remind yourself that Xbox One Kinect was a bad idea, Microsoft’s 2010 mood detection patent will have you celebrating the company ditched its focus on the peripheral.

As part of an initiative to better tailor adverts to players, Microsoft wanted to develop software that allowed Kinekt to read your facial expressions and listen to the sound of your voice via Kinect. Can you imagine? Teary-eyed over your 17th death in Dark Souls’ Blighttown, order a brand new box of tissues for only $9.99!

Nintendo Game Phone

Now, we’re being ironic here because there’s nothing technically weird or at all strange about a mobile phone that plays video games. It’s more the fact that we’re gazing at a patent that could have totally reshaped a company’s history had they gone ahead with it.<br><br>

Circa 2001, long before smart phones, Nintendo was clearly thinking about making its own phone with in-built video games. As much as we loved Snake on our trusty Nokia 3210, I think Super Mario Bros. on a Nintendo device would have beaten it into a cocked hat. <br><br>What could have been, eh?

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