Customized Game Merchandising

3D Print A Character Directly From Your Sony PlayStation


Sony just filed a patent on 3D printing video game characters directly from a games console. This could be huge for game merchandising.

Just think about the time Joe Average gamer spends customizing his character. Especially in MMOs and roleplaying games, the fun starts with your character, right? So, why not have your favorite troll in pink Lederhosen and braids standing on your desk – for real?

Thanks to 3D printing, customization this is an easy task; and Sony just made a huge step in this direction. They filed a US patent application for a “Device and method of selecting an object for 3D printing”. The group of seven inventors is working for Sony Computer Entertainment in the UK and Japan.

Here’s what it’s all about:

Aspects of the technology include method of selecting an object from a videogame for 3D printing. The method involves periodically rendering a virtual environment of a videogame for display at a succession of points in time. Information is periodically recorded that enables visual reconstruction of at least part of the virtual environment at a succession of points in time. A predetermined set of values is periodically recorded responsive to the state of the rendered virtual environment at a succession of points in time. The predetermined set of values enables a model of a selected part of the rendered virtual environment to be generated that is configured for 3D printing.

Sony didn’t mention the PlayStation per se… but it’s clear that this will be the most reasonable use case. Especially if you can edit the data with your PlayStation VR.


A Great Feature, but No Magic Involved

So, basically, the program records 3D data (the PlayStation already does automatically that with 2D video). Then, it allows you to extract, customize and 3D print your favorite game characters directly from a game on your PlayStation. According to the patent, all you need to do is to select any object, customize and order it. You even could 3D print a whole scene, i.e. character standing on a snowy mountain, your guild or a group at a boss fight.

If you know 3D printing, this probably isn’t new to you. To extract 3D models from a game has been done by fans before (like in this case). But if this becomes a regular option for your console, this could be a biggie for the video games companies. Order your favorite tank or elf? Just some clicks away.

But before you start searching for your credit card: This still is a patent application. It has to be implemented in an OS update, adapted by video games companies and 3D printing companies alike and accepted by the users. So, it will probably take some time until your troll in pink Lederhosen and braids will stand at your desk.