Google Patents Automated Frame Rate Based On Gameplay State
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Google has recently published a patent for a technique that can adjust the target frame rate of image data outputted by a video game based on the gameplay state.
The gameplay state describes the condition when a video game application is used for actual gameplay and not paused or on a menu screen.
The technique aims to provide players with a smoother image output and quicker response times.
It can also reduce the amount of heat dissipated by the device processors and reduce battery drain, thereby improving the overall performance and longevity of the device.
Google was recently awarded a patent titled “AUTOMATED FRAME PACING BASED ON GAMEPLAY STATE,” filed in September 2021 under Google LLC. The patent, published last week, describes a technique for adjusting the frame rate at which a video game outputs image data based on the gameplay state of the application. The computing device determines the gameplay state without receiving explicit indications and adjusts the target frame rate accordingly. When the gaming application is in a gaming state, the target frame rate is set to a high frame rate, and when the application transitions to a non-gaming state, the target frame rate is reduced to reduce battery drain and heat dissipation. This technique helps optimise a computing device’s performance and battery life while maintaining a smooth gaming experience.
“A computing device may determine one or more characteristics of a gaming application executing at one or more processors of the computing device. The computing device may determine a gameplay state of the gaming application executing at the one or more processors based at least in part on the one or more characteristics,” reads the abstract for the patent. “The computing device may adjust, based at least in part on the state of the gaming application, a target frame rate of image data outputted by the gaming application for display at a display device. The computing device may output, based at least in part on the adjusted target frame rate, the image data for display at the display device.”
This patent aims to resolve the problem of sustained high operating clock speeds of processors in devices during the execution of video game applications, which can cause increased heat dissipation, higher temperatures, and faster battery drain. The patent proposes techniques to determine the gameplay state of a video game executing at a device and adjust the target frame rate of image data outputted by the video game based on the gameplay state, thereby reducing the operating clock speed and heat dissipation of the processors when the video game is in a non-gaming state, and increasing them when the video game is in a gaming state. In the context of this patent, a “non-gaming state” refers to a state in which the video game is not actively engaged in gameplay. For example, the player may have paused the video game, navigated to a menu screen, or switched to a different application altogether.
According to the patent’s claims, the automated system involves a method for monitoring and adjusting a video game’s performance. The method involves determining one or more characteristics of the video game, such as its graphical rendering commands or the patterns of usage of the processor, and then using this information to adjust the target frame rate of the video game’s output. Additionally, the monitoring module can observe the video game’s performance and adjust it as needed. The system also includes a display device for outputting the video game’s images, an input device for receiving player input, and a clock speed adjuster that can change the clock speed of the processor or graphics processing unit (GPU).
As video games evolve at a rapid pace, players are faced with the challenge of keeping up with the increasing hardware requirements. The newly released Hogwarts Legacy, for instance, demands at least an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti for optimal gameplay, making it difficult for those with lower-end hardware to match up. This trend is expected to continue, with rumours suggesting that The Last of Us Part I will require a minimum of an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2070 for a smooth 1080p 60 FPS experience, with even steeper requirements for higher resolutions. While these video games boast some of the most advanced graphics, this raises concerns among players who lack access to high-end hardware but still desire a visually stunning gameplay experience. It seems like Google is trying to mitigate, at least, some of these concerns with this automated system.
Although Google’s described technique shows promise, it’s important to remember that it’s currently only a patent and not a confirmed implementation. However, if the technology is implemented, it could greatly benefit players by improving their gameplay experience. The patent describes techniques that can adjust the image output of a video game based on the current gameplay state, resulting in smoother graphics and faster response times for players. In addition, these techniques can also reduce processor heat and battery drain, ultimately improving the overall performance and lifespan of the device. Only time will tell how Google will incorporate this automated system into its video game platforms, if at all, but it has the potential to offer a more seamless and enjoyable gameplay experience for players across all devices.
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