You may remember early last year when Sony revealed that Gaikai technology would be used to allow streaming of PlayStation 3 games on the PlayStation 4. You'll probably also recall that, since that time, details surrounding the proposed services have proven as illusive as information regarding The Last Guardian. However, we may be edging closer to the truth, as a patent recently emerged which potentially sheds some light on the platform holder's plans. Filed in 2012, the document makes reference to "an emulator configured to operate on a network", and also describes a system by which older games could have challenges and "mini-games" added as a means of increasing their longevity.

"Instead of replaying the same level or completing the same missions repeatedly, gamers often desire new challenges when replaying legacy games," it states. "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.”

The suggested system would make use of gameplay snapshots to allow developers an easy method of creating these mini-games. There are scant details on the proposed content of the challenges, but we suspect that they may involve something along the lines of completing a level with a certain weapon or within a designated time limit. If you're looking for more details, and are willing to brave its stymieing technical jargon, you can find the full patent through here.

In truth, this is a pretty neat idea, and one that should ensure that high-score junkies have lots of content for years to come. What's more, it represents a way for Sony to sweeten the pot for those of you not particularly keen on the idea of having to fork out more cash to play games that you already own. Does this proposal have your expectations set sky high, or is the concept raining on your parade? Patent your opinions in the comments section below.

[via appft.uspto.gov]