"Suspending State of Cloud-Based Legacy Applications" - that's the technical title for the latest patent released into the public by Sony on January 2nd this year. What it means is the ability to use the Cloud to inject new content into old games thereby extending their lives.
Sony explains the need for the tech like this: "Finding new ways to play preexisting video games can increase the longevity of older games." It continues:
"Instead of replaying the same level or completing the same missions repeatedly, gamers often desire new challenges when replaying legacy games. In response to this need, game designers have begun to produce mini-games.
"Within a mini-game, the gamer can be instructed to complete new objectives or challenge their friends for high scores in a format that was not originally designed into the legacy game. Further, since the mini-game is derived from a legacy game, the gamer already knows the characters and basic components of the game, and is therefore more likely to play the mini-game."
But but but... "in order to generate mini-games that start with these specific circumstances a game designer must reverse engineer the underlying code in each game and then rewrite the code to enable the mini-game to start under these specific conditions. This process is time consuming and expensive, because it may require multiple engineers to redevelop a single legacy game. Additionally since mini-games are shorter than full-length games, there is a need to produce mini-games in larger quantities."
There's your problem. And the solution? "The present disclosure is related to video game emulation. Among other things, this application describes a method and apparatus for emulating a video game that includes generating snapshots that can be used for incorporating new content into the emulated video games."See the full patent here.