The immersive experience of videogames is getting set to move into the physical dimension with news that Sony has just cleared a patent for a 3D printer. According to documents seen by 3DPI the technique will enable players to print out character models from their favourite games. It taps into the popularity of such events as Dishonoured 2’s recent IRL scavenger hunt that saw fans hunting for 3D printed bone runes across London, adding another layer to the immersive and addictive quality of video games.
Sony’s 3D printing will add another layer to the screenshot feature already in use in the PlayStation 4. From a screenshot, gamers will be able to select a particular portion for 3D printing, i.e. an epic action shot on ascent into Arkham as Batman, or a finishing move from Mortal Kombat.
The patent uses a Rayman-like ‘Blobman’ character as a stand in for 3D printed character models. It details how the software will take into account unrealistic gaming situations in which ‘characters that are not bound by the normal rules of physics’, as in Rayman’s floating hands and feet that aren’t attached to the body, which would be attached to the model by rods, and 2-dimensional game environments purely for decorative purposes which are essentially surplus to a model. It also considers the safety implications of sharp objects.