U.S. Patent No. 7,670,220: Racing games and other games having garage, showroom, and test drive features
Issued March 2, 2010, to Microsoft

The ‘220 patent describes a racing game where players enter a showroom filled with cars from which he can select one to race. The invention also lets the player take a test drive of a car before he commits to that car. The cars in the showroom are grouped by manufacturer to help a player locate a care more easily. By showcasing the cars in a garage and allowing the user to test drive the car before committing, the invention allows the user to select a car which matches his driving style closely and thus makes the game more enjoyable for the user.

Racing games and other computer-implemented games having garage, showroom and test drive features are disclosed herein. In one embodiment, a method for implementing a racing game in accordance with one embodiment of the invention includes displaying a plurality of cars in a simulated showroom setting. Game players can roam freely about the showroom in first-person mode and inspect the cars in close detail. If a player desires, he or she can test drive one or more of the cars to assess its performance before competing in a racing event with the car.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A computer-implemented method for selecting a car in a racing game, the racing game including a race portion, the method comprising: viewing a plurality of different cars in a showroom setting, wherein the plurality of different cars may be viewed simultaneously; selecting a first car of the plurality of different cars for a test drive, wherein the first car has not been purchased, and wherein the first car may not be used to race until it has been purchased; test driving the first car; and competing in the race portion of the racing game with at least one of the first car or a second car of the plurality of different cars.

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