A patent filed by Sony shows that the company is potentially interested in bringing different scents to PlayStation games. The patent was discovered by Game Rant, and would involve the use of "positive, neutral, or negative interactions" with varying scents, but it's unclear exactly how the technology would work. Video game developers are always looking for different ways of making an experience more immersive, and smells can have a profound impact on a person. It's not hard to imagine that such a technology could have a really strong impact on the industry, but it remains to be seen whether or not the idea will go further than the concept stage!
While patents are frequently filed for things that don't end up seeing the light of day, they can provide fans with a window into the planning process for companies. A lot of research and development happens behind the scenes, and gaming companies tend to be very secretive about this type of planning. Earlier this month, another patent revealed that Sony is looking into ways that PlayStation fans could use everyday items as controllers, including bananas and oranges. Clearly the company is trying to find a lot of different ways to change the gameplay experience for players.
Interestingly enough, other developers have considered ways of integrating smell into gameplay throughout the years. Death Stranding creator Hideo Kojima had a slightly different idea in mind when pitching the concept for Boktai on Game Boy Color. Kojima imagined a way in which the smell of a player's breath would have an impact on the game. Since Boktai featured vampire opponents, a player that had eaten food containing garlic would have an advantage in the game. Unfortunately, the rest of the team wasn't as fond of the idea, and it didn't make it past the concept stage!
Time will tell whether or not Sony ends up finding a use for the concept, or if it ends up on the cutting room floor, just as Kojima's did back in the day. The idea of integrating smells into gameplay is a really fascinating one, but getting players and developers to embrace it might be a bit difficult for Sony.
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