U.S. Patent no. 10,279,252: Game execution environments

Issued May 7, 2019 to Sony Interactive Entertainment America LLC
Priority Date May 17, 2010

U.S. Patent No. 10,279,252 (the ‘252 Patent) relates to executing multiple video game environments on one device. The ‘252 Patent proceeds by allowing each game environment which includes a different video game played by different geographically distributed players to be played on the same operating system within a virtual shell. This will allow those to access video games using more conventional services over the Internet even if they don’t physically possess the computing device normally necessary to execute the video game environment. This is a major advancement in allowing players to move beyond the limitations of physical consoles. The ‘252 Patent also allows a game delivery system to distribute games to players from data centers which can stream the game video directly to a player’s device.

Systems and methods for executing multiple video games, or other sources of video, include a cloud game execution environment in which each game application is executed on the same operating system but within a virtual I/O shell. The virtual I/O shell includes virtual video, audio and input channels that allow each game application to operate as if it had dedicated drivers. In some embodiments, the systems and methods of the invention are used to provide video streams to a plurality of clients over the internet.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A video game system, comprising, a gaming computer, the gaming computer including, a processor; a graphics processing unit (GPU); and memory for storing video frames generated for an executable application, the video frames being compressed for video game streaming to one or more other computers, wherein the executable application is associated with virtual I/O shells that provide for video, audio and input channels for said one or more other computers to control interactivity of operation of the executable application during said video game streaming; wherein said video, audio and input channels implement separate virtual channel drivers to simulate I/O processing at the gaming computer.