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Publication numberUS20060084504 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/113,266
Publication date20 Apr 2006
Filing date25 Apr 2005
Priority date30 Apr 2004
Also published asCA2505234A1
Publication number11113266, 113266, US 2006/0084504 A1, US 2006/084504 A1, US 20060084504 A1, US 20060084504A1, US 2006084504 A1, US 2006084504A1, US-A1-20060084504, US-A1-2006084504, US2006/0084504A1, US2006/084504A1, US20060084504 A1, US20060084504A1, US2006084504 A1, US2006084504A1
InventorsAndy Chan, Kong Li
Original AssigneeChan Andy K, Li Kong C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wireless communication systems
US 20060084504 A1
Abstract
A wireless game controller communicates with a corresponding wireless receiver attached to a video game console. The wireless game controller accommodates a headset such that game control signals and audio signals between the wireless controller and the wireless receiver are integrated and transmitted on a single Bluetooth wireless data link.
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Claims(22)
1. A wireless game control system for use with a video game console, the wireless control system comprising:
a wireless communicating means operable for connection to said video game console; and
a wireless game controlling means operable to accept gaming instructions from a game participant,
said wireless communicating means operable to communicate wirelessly with said wireless game controlling means, said wireless communicating means including a signal combining means operable to combine audio data signals and key control signals from said video game console into a single data stream for transmission to said wireless game controlling means,
said wireless game controlling means operable to receive the single data stream and to recover the audio data signals and key control signals therefrom.
2. A wireless game control system as claimed in claim 1, wherein said wireless game controlling means comprises means for connecting an audio headset for dispatching said audio data signals thereto.
3. A wireless game control system as claimed in claim 1, wherein said wireless game controlling means comprises means for connecting an audio headset for exchanging audio data signals therewith.
4. A wireless game control system as claimed in claim 1, wherein said wireless communicating means further comprises a first wireless transceiving means and wherein said wireless game controlling means further comprises a second wireless transceiving means, such that said first and second wireless transceiving means are operable to communicate wirelessly with each other.
5. A wireless game control system as claimed in claim 4, wherein said first and second wireless transceiving means each comprise a radio frequency (RF) transceiving means.
6. A wireless game control system as claimed in claim 5, wherein said first and second wireless transceiving means are operable to communicate using Bluetooth protocols.
7. A wireless game control system as claimed in claim 6, wherein said signal combining means accepts said key control signals in SPI format.
8. A wireless game controller system as claimed in claim 6, wherein said signal combining means accepts said audio data signals in USB format.
9. A wireless game control system as claimed in claim 8, wherein said wireless game controlling means further includes game effects generating means for generating one or more game effects according to one or more game effects data values, said wireless game controlling means being operable to identify one or more game effects data values in the key control signal.
10. A wireless game control system as claimed in claim 9, wherein said game effects generating means comprises vibrating means.
11. A video game device, comprising:
a portable game controller operable to receive gaming instructions from at least one game participant, the portable game controller including:
one or more effects generators for generating one or more game effects;
an audio headset operable to establish a first data link with the portable game controller for exchanging an audio data signal therebetween,
the portable game controller being operable to exchange operational data with a game console station, the operational data including game instructions for controlling the one or more game effects; and
an interface unit including a data port to connect with a complementary data port on the game console station, the interface unit including a first RF transceiver,
the game controller including a second RF transceiver,
the first and second RF transceivers being operable for establishing a wireless data link between the interface unit and the portable game controller to exchange both the audio data and operational data.
12. A device as defined in claim 11, wherein the interface unit includes:
a first data processor portion operable to receive the audio data and the operational data from the game console; and
a second data processor portion operable to exchange the audio data with the first data processor portion over a first data path, the second data processor portion operable to exchange the operational data with the first data processor portion over a second data path, the second data processor portion operable to encode the audio data and operational data on a third data path,
the first RF transceiver operable to receive encoded data on the third data path and to exchange the encoded data with the second RF transceiver in the portable game controller over a carrier signal.
13. A device as defined in claim 12, wherein the portable game controller further comprises a third data processor portion which is operable to exchange the encoded data with the second RF transceiver over a fourth data path, the third data processor portion being operable to decode the encoded data to deliver the operational data over a fifth data path and the audio data over a sixth data path.
14. A device as defined in claim 13, wherein the portable game controller further comprises a fourth data processor portion operable to exchange the operational data with the third data processor portion over the fifth data path and to exchange the operational data with a register portion, the register portion being operable to exchange data with one or more game effects generators over a corresponding one or more data paths.
15. A device as defined in claim 14, further comprising an audio data processor portion for exchanging audio data with the third data processor over the sixth data path.
16. A device as defined in claim 15, wherein the audio data processor portion is operable to exchange the audio data with the audio headset over the first data link, the audio data being representative of an analog audio signal.
17. A device as defined in claim 16, wherein the audio data includes the analog audio signal.
18. A device as defined in claim 17, wherein the audio head set includes a microphone, the audio processor portion being operable to receive the audio data representative of an analog signal from the microphone.
19. A device as defined in claim 18, wherein the first and second processor portions are included in a dongle unit.
20. A wireless game control system for use with a video game console, the wireless controller system comprising:
a wireless communicator operable for connection to said video game console; and
a wireless game controller operable to accept gaming instructions from a game participant,
said wireless communicator operable to communicate wirelessly with said wireless game controller, said wireless communicator including a signal integrator to combine audio data signals and key control signals from said video game console into a single data stream for transmission to said wireless game controller,
said wireless game controller operable to receive the single data stream and to recover the audio data signals and key control signals therefrom.
21. A method of controlling a wireless game system comprising the steps of:
providing a wireless communicator which is configured to communicate with a game console;
providing a wireless game controller to accept gaming instructions from a game participant;
providing head set to communicate with the wireless game controller;
establishing a first data link between the game console and the wireless communicator for transferring operational data and audio signal data therebetween;
establishing a second wireless data link between the wireless communicator and the wireless game controller;
establishing a third data link between the wireless game controller and the head set;
providing the carrier signal with a payload including data values from both the operational data and the audio signal data;
enabling the wireless communicator, in a first mode, to assemble a first payload for dispatching operational data and audio signal data to the wireless controller;
enabling the wireless game controller, in a second mode, to recover the operational data and audio signal data from the first payload;
enabling the wireless game controller, in a third mode, to assemble a second payload for dispatching operational data and audio signal data to the wireless communicator; and
enabling the wireless communicator, in a fourth mode, to recover the operational data and the audio signal data from the second payload.
22. A method of controlling a wireless game system comprising:
a step for providing a wireless communicator which is configured to communicate with a game console;
a step for providing a wireless game controller to accept gaming instructions from a game participant;
a step for providing head set to communicate with the wireless game controller;
a step for establishing a first data link between the game console and the wireless communicator for transferring operational data and audio signal data therebetween;
a step for establishing a second wireless data link between the wireless communicator and the wireless game controller;
a step for establishing a third data link between the wireless game controller and the head set;
a step for providing the carrier signal with a payload including data values from both the operational data and the audio signal data;
a step for enabling the wireless communicator, in a first mode, to assemble a first payload for dispatching operational data and audio signal data to the wireless controller;
a step for enabling the wireless game controller, in a second mode, to recover the operational data and audio signal data from the first payload;
a step for enabling the wireless game controller, in a third mode, to assemble a second payload for dispatching operational data and audio signal data to the wireless communicator; and
a step for enabling the wireless communicator, in a fourth mode, to recover the operational data and the audio signal data from the second payload.
Description
REFERENCE TO CO-PENDING APPLICATIONS

The entire subject matter of U.S. Provisional application Ser. No. 60/567,154 filed Apr. 30, 2004 and entitled WIRELESS COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS is incorporated by reference. The applicant claims priority benefit under Title 35, United States Code, Section 119(e) of U.S. Provisional application Ser. No. 60/567,154 filed Apr. 30, 2004 and entitled WIRELESS COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS.

The entire subject matter of U.S. Provisional application Ser. No. 60/571,409 filed May 14, 2004 and entitled WIRELESS COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS is incorporated by reference. The applicant claims priority benefit under Title 35, United States Code, Section 119(e) of U.S. Provisional application Ser. No. 60/571,409 filed May 14, 2004 and entitled WIRELESS COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to gaming devices.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Video games have become a dominant source of entertainment for children, teens and adults. These games are played on systems which include a game console whose game processor implements a video game on a game card installed in a game slot therein. The game participant executes game sequences using a hand held game controller. Such games have become incredibly sophisticated with superior graphic, sound effects and in some cases physical effects such by the use of hand held game controllers that vibrate in synchronized fashion with developments of the game.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel device and/or method for gaming.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One aspect of the present invention provides a wireless game control system for use with a video game console, the wireless control system comprising: a wireless communicating means operable for connection to the video game console; and a wireless game controlling means operable to accept gaming instructions from a game participant. The wireless communicating means is operable to communicate wirelessly with the wireless game controlling means. The wireless communicating means includes a signal combining means operable to combine audio data signals and key control signals from the video game console into a single data stream for transmission to the wireless game controlling means. The wireless game controlling means is operable to receive the single data stream and to recover the audio data signals and key control signals therefrom.

In an embodiment, the wireless game controlling means comprises means for connecting an audio headset for dispatching the audio data signals thereto.

In an embodiment, the wireless game controlling means comprises means for connecting an audio headset for exchanging audio data signals therewith.

In an embodiment, the wireless communicating means further comprises a first wireless transceiving means and wherein the wireless game controlling means further comprises a second wireless transceiving means, such that the first and second wireless transceiving means are operable to communicate wirelessly with each other.

In an embodiment, the first and second wireless transceiving means each comprise a radio frequency (RF) transceiving means.

In an embodiment, the first and second wireless transceiving means are operable to communicate using Bluetooth protocols.

In an embodiment, the signal combining means accepts the key control signals in SPI format.

In an embodiment, the signal combining means accepts the audio data signals in USB format.

In an embodiment, the wireless game controlling means further includes game effects generating means for generating one or more game effects according to one or more game effects data values, the wireless game controlling means being operable to identify one or more game effects data values in the key control signal.

In an embodiment, the game effects generating means comprises vibrating means.

In another of its aspects, the present invention provides a video game device, comprising a portable game controller operable to receive gaming instructions from at least one game participant, the portable game controller including one or more effects generators for generating one or more game effects, an audio headset operable to establish a first data link with the portable game controller for exchanging an audio data signal therebetween. The portable game controller is operable to exchange operational data with a game console station. The operational data includes game instructions for controlling the one or more game effects. An interface unit includes a data port to connect with a complementary data port on the game console station. The interface unit includes a first RF transceiver. The game controller includes a second RF transceiver. The first and second RF transceivers are operable for establishing a wireless data link between the interface unit and the portable game controller to exchange both the audio data and operational data.

In an embodiment, the interface unit includes: a first data processor portion operable to receive the audio data and the operational data from the game console and a second data processor portion operable to exchange the audio data with the first data processor portion over a first data path. The second data processor portion is operable to exchange the operational data with the first data processor portion over a second data path. The second data processor portion is operable to encode the audio data and operational data on a third data path. The first RF transceiver is operable to receive encoded data on the third data path and to exchange the encoded data with the second RF transceiver in the portable game controller over a carrier signal.

In an embodiment, the portable game controller further comprises a third data processor portion which is operable to exchange the encoded data with the second RF transceiver over a fourth data path. The third data processor portion is operable to decode the encoded data to deliver the operational data over a fifth data path and the audio data over a sixth data path.

In an embodiment, the portable game controller further comprises a fourth data processor portion operable to exchange the operational data with the third data processor portion over the fifth data path and to exchange the operational data with a register portion. The register portion is operable to exchange data with one or more game effects generators over a corresponding one or more data paths.

Some embodiments further comprise an audio data processor portion for exchanging audio data with the third data processor over the sixth data path.

In some embodiments, the audio data processor portion is operable to exchange the audio data with the audio headset over the first data link, the audio data being representative of an analog audio signal.

In some embodiments, the audio data includes the analog audio signal.

In some embodiments, the audio head set includes a microphone, the audio processor portion being operable to receive the audio data representative of an analog signal from the microphone.

In some embodiments, the first and second processor portions are included in a dongle unit.

Yet another aspect of the present invention provides a wireless game control system for use with a video game console, the wireless controller system comprising: a wireless communicator operable for connection to the video game console; and a wireless game controller operable to accept gaming instructions from a game participant. The wireless communicator is operable to communicate wirelessly with the wireless game controller. The wireless communicator includes a signal integrator to combine audio data signals and key control signals from the video game console into a single data stream for transmission to the wireless game controller. The wireless game controller is operable to receive the single data stream and to recover the audio data signals and key control signals therefrom.

Still another aspect of the present invention provides a method of controlling a wireless game system comprising the steps of: providing a wireless communicator which is configured to communicate with a game console; providing a wireless game controller to accept gaming instructions from a game participant; providing head set to communicate with the wireless game controller; establishing a first data link between the game console and the wireless communicator for transferring operational data and audio signal data therebetween; establishing a second wireless data link between the wireless communicator and the wireless game controller; establishing a third data link between the wireless game controller and the head set; providing the carrier signal with a payload including data values from both the operational data and the audio signal data; enabling the wireless communicator, in a first mode, to assemble a first payload for dispatching operational data and audio signal data to the wireless controller; enabling the wireless game controller, in a second mode, to recover the operational data and audio signal data from the first payload; enabling the wireless game controller, in a third mode, to assemble a second payload for dispatching operational data and audio signal data to the wireless communicator; enabling the wireless communicator, in a fourth mode, to recover the operational data and the audio signal data from the second payload.

Another aspect of the present invention provides a method of controlling a wireless game system comprising: a step for providing a wireless communicator which is configured to communicate with a game console; a step for providing a wireless game controller to accept gaming instructions from a game participant; a step for providing head set to communicate with the wireless game controller; a step for establishing a first data link between the game console and the wireless communicator for transferring operational data and audio signal data therebetween; a step for establishing a second wireless data link between the wireless communicator and the wireless game controller; a step for establishing a third data link between the wireless game controller and the head set; a step for providing the carrier signal with a payload including data values from both the operational data and the audio signal data; a step for enabling the wireless communicator, in a first mode, to assemble a first payload for dispatching operational data and audio signal data to the wireless controller; a step for enabling the wireless game controller, in a second mode, to recover the operational data and audio signal data from the first payload; a step for enabling the wireless game controller, in a third mode, to assemble a second payload for dispatching operational data and audio signal data to the wireless communicator; a step for enabling the wireless communicator, in a fourth mode, to recover the operational data and the audio signal data from the second payload.

In one of its aspects, the present invention provides a gaming device, comprising a portable game controller operable to receive gaming instructions from at least one game participant, the portable game controller including one or more effects generators for generating one or more game effects, an audio headset operable to establish a first data link with the portable game controller for exchanging an audio data signal therebetween, a game console operable to exchange operational data with the portable game controller, the operational data including gaming instructions, the game console including a game processor to advance a game sequence in response to the gaming instructions, the game console including a plurality of first data ports, an interface unit comprising a housing with a second data port extending outwardly there from, the second data port operable to connect with one of first data ports on the game console, the interface unit including a first RF transceiver, the game controller including a second RF transceiver, the first and second RF transceivers being operable for establishing a wireless data link between the interface unit and the portable game controller to exchange both the audio data and operational data.

In an embodiment, the interface portion includes a first data processor portion operable to receive the audio data and operational data from the game processor, a second data processor portion operable to exchange the audio data with the first data processor portion over a first data path, the second data processor portion operable to exchange the operational data with the first data processor portion over a second data path, the second data processor portion operable to encode the audio data and operational data on a third data path, the first RF transceiver operable to receive encoded data on the third data path and to exchange the encoded data with the second RF transceiver in the portable game controller over a common carrier signal.

In an embodiment, the portable game controller further comprises a third data processor portion which is operable to exchange the encoded data with the second RF transceiver over a fourth data path, the third data processor portion being operable to decode the encoded data to deliver the operational data over a fifth data path and the audio data over a sixth data path.

In an embodiment, the portable game controller further comprises a fourth data processor portion operable to exchange the operational data with the third data processor portion over the fifth data path and to exchange the operational data with a register portion, the register portion being operable to exchange data with one or more game effects generators over a corresponding one or more data paths.

An embodiment further comprises an audio processor portion for exchanging audio data with the third data processor over the sixth data path.

In an embodiment, the audio processor portion is operable to exchange the audio data with the audio headset over the first data link, the audio data being representative of an analog audio signal.

In an embodiment, the audio data includes the analog audio signal.

In an embodiment, the audio head set includes a microphone, the audio processor portion being operable to receive the audio data representative of an analog signal from the microphone.

In an embodiment, the first and/or second data links are operable under a protocol stack including one or more wireless, internet, satellite, cell packet, encryption, and authentication protocols.

In an embodiment, the wireless protocols include Bluetooth and 802.11 protocols.

In an embodiment, the first and second processor portions are included in a dongle unit.

In another of its aspects, the present invention provides a gaming device, comprising: a portable game controller operable to receive gaming instructions from at least one game participant; the portable game controller including one or more effects generators for generating one or more game effects; an audio headset operable to establish a first data link with the portable game controller for exchanging an audio data signal therebetween; a game console operable to exchange operational data with the portable game controller, the operational data including gaming instructions, the game console including a game processor to advance a game sequence in response to the gaming instructions, the game console including a plurality of first data ports; and a dongle unit comprising a housing with a second data port extending outwardly there from, the second data port operable to connect with one of first data ports on the game console, the dongle unit including a first RF transceiver portion and the game controller including a second RF transceiver portion, the first and second RF transceiver portions being operable for establishing a wireless data link between the dongle unit and the portable game controller to exchange both the audio data and operational data, the dongle unit including a first MCU chip portion to receive the audio data and operational data from the game processor, a first baseband chip portion operable to exchange the audio data with the first MCU chip portion over a first data path, the first baseband chip portion being operable to exchange the operational data with the first MCU chip portion over a second data path, the first baseband chip portion being operable to encode the audio data and operational data on a third data path, the first RF transceiver portion being operable to receive encoded data on the third data path and to exchange the encoded data with the second RF transceiver portion in the portable game controller over a common carrier signal, the portable game controller further comprising: a second baseband chip portion to exchange the encoded data with the second RF transceiver over a fourth data path, the second baseband chip portion being operable to decode the encoded data to deliver the operational data over a fifth data path and the audio data over a sixth data path; a second MCU chip portion being operable to receive the operational data from the fifth data path and to exchange the operational data with a register portion, the register portion being operable to exchange data with one or more game effects generators over a corresponding one or more data paths; and a CODEC chip portion for exchanging audio data with the second baseband chip portion over the sixth data path, the CODEC chip portion being operable to deliver the audio data to the first data link, the audio data being representative of an analog audio signal.

In an embodiment, the head set includes a microphone, the CODEC chip portion being operable to receive the audio data representative of an analog signal from the microphone.

In an embodiment, the first and/or second data links are operable under a protocol stack including one or more wireless, internet, satellite, cell packet, encryption, and authentication protocols.

In an embodiment, the wireless protocols include Bluetooth and 802.11 protocols.

In yet another of its aspects, the present invention provides a gaming device, comprising a portable game controller operable to receive gaming instructions from at least one game participant, one or more effects generators for generating one or more game effects, a game console including a game processor to advance a game sequence in response to the gaming instructions, the portable game controller and the game console operable to transfer operational gaming data associated with the gaming instructions and/or the game effects therebetween over a wireless data link therebetween.

In an embodiment, the device further comprises a data relay station, the data relay station operable to establish a first data link with the game console and a second data link with the portable game controller.

The first data link may be wired and/or wireless. Preferably, the first data link is established by way of a magnetic field coupling, an optical beam either in the visible or invisible spectrums or a combination thereof, or over a carrier signal at one or more frequencies, frequency ranges, or frequency patterns or a combination thereof. The first data link may desirably include a protocol stack including one or more of WiFi, Bluetooth and/or other 802.11 protocols, TCP/IP and/or other internet protocols, or satellite or cell packet protocols, SSL and/or other encryption, encoding or authentication protocols.

In an embodiment, game console and/or the data relay station further comprise a plurality of data ports, wherein the first data link is established by at least one data port on the data relay station and/or the game console or both. In this case, the data ports include a USB port, a serial port, a parallel port, an audio port, a memory port, an RCA port, a keyboard or joystick port, a line-of-sight optical port or a combination thereof.

The second data link may also be wired and/or wireless. In this case, the second data link may be established by way of a magnetic field coupling, an optical beam either in the visible or invisible spectrums or a combination thereof, or over a carrier signal at one or more frequencies, frequency ranges, or frequency patterns or a combination thereof. Desirably, the second data link includes a protocol stack including one or more of WiFi, Bluetooth and/or other 802.11 protocols, TCP/IP and/or other internet protocols, or satellite or cell packet protocols, SSL and/or other encryption, encoding or authentication protocols.

In an embodiment, the one or more of the effects generators include a vibrating unit for vibrating the portable game controller. The portable game controller may include a hand set, a head set and/or is otherwise arranged to be carried or worn by the participant.

In an embodiment, the game console further comprises a plurality of data ports, the device further comprising a wireless base station, the wireless base station operable to establish a wired data link with the game console through a wired coupling at one of said data ports therewith, the wireless base station operable to establish the wireless data link with the portable game controller.

Preferably, the data relay station includes at least one port which is operable to replace an occupied communication port on the game console.

In an embodiment, one or more power supply units may be provided for supplying power to the portable game controller, the game console and/or the data relay station, the power supply units further including one or more batteries, or a wired coupling between an external power source and/or portable game controller, the game console and/or the data relay station.

In an embodiment, the portable game controller further includes a housing and/or external graphics and indicia, wherein one or more of the game effects generators, housing or indicia is genre specific and selected from a group consisting of racing, fighting, shooting, platform/adventure, flight simulator, motorcycle/bike, pool cue, fishing, snow board, golf and baseball, among others.

In another of its aspects, there is provided a wireless gaming device, comprising a hand held gaming control means, audio signal generation means and communication means and game console means, controller and an audio communicator for converting a video game system having a game console with game controller ports and at least one USB port, one memory slot and a audio communicator slot and being adapted to operate with wired controllers and audio communicator into a system operable with wireless controllers and wireless audio communicator, the wireless control device comprising: a game controller and an audio communicator having at least one user operable switch and wireless transmitter circuitry for transmitting game control information and a game audio communication; a wireless adapter connected to the game console via the at least one memory slot/USB port, communicator slot and having wireless receiver circuitry for receiving said game control information and audio communication from said game controller and said audio communicator; and wireless communication protocol for controlling the transmission and receiving of wireless signals between said controller/audio communicator and said wireless adapter.

In an embodiment, the wireless adapter comprises wireless transmitting circuitry for transmitting said controller information and audio communicator via internet from the game console. The wireless adapter further comprises wireless transmitting circuitry for transmitting said controller information and audio communication via internet to said controller and audio communicator. The wireless adapter further includes power supply means for supplying power to said wireless transmitter circuitry. The power supply means may include batteries contained within said wireless adapter or other power sources or power generating sources.

In an embodiment, the device includes a memory slot disposed on said wireless adapter for providing a user with access to the used memory slot while said wireless adapter is disposed in the at least one memory slot on the game console. The device may also include a USB port disposed on said wireless adapter for providing a user with access to the USB interface while said wireless adapter is disposed in the at least one USB port on the game console.

In an embodiment, the device includes an audio communicator slot disposed on said wireless adapter for providing a user with access to the audio communication via internet while said wireless adapter is disposed in the at least one audio communicator slot on the game console. The device may include power supply means in the form of batteries contained within said wireless adapter. Alternatively or in addition, the power supply means may include circuitry for obtaining power from the game console via the at least one memory slot, controller port, USB port or audio communicator slot. The wireless communication protocol may include a Radio Frequency (RF), Bluetooth (RF) or other electromagnetic radiation.

In an embodiment, the game controller may include an internal vibration member, said controller information including signals for selectively activating said internal vibration member in response to action within a game being played.

In an embodiment, the game controller comprises includes genre specific game controller selected from a group consisting of racing, fighting, shooting, platform/adventure, flight simulator, motorcycle/bike, pool cue, fishing, snow board, golf and baseball controllers.

In an embodiment, the audio communicator includes an audio communicating on-live via internet to the at least one party at another part of the world, the game controller being genre specific and selected from a group consisting of racing, fighting, shooting, platform/adventure, flight simulator, motorcycle/bike, pool cue, fishing, snow board, golf and baseball.

In still another of its aspects, the present invention provides a wireless audio communicator having an audio communicator for converting a video game system having a game console with game controller ports and at least one USB port, one memory slot and a audio communicator slot and being adapted to operate with wired controllers and audio communicator into a system operable with wireless controllers and wireless audio communicator, the wireless audio communicator including an audio communicator having at least one user operable switch and wireless transmitter circuitry for transmitting game control information and a game audio communication; a wireless adapter connected to the game console via the at least one memory slot/USB port, communicator slot and having wireless receiver circuitry for receiving said game control information and audio communication from said audio communicator; and wireless communication protocol for controlling the transmission and receiving of wireless signals between said audio communicator and said wireless adapter.

In an embodiment, the wireless adapter includes wireless transmitting circuitry for transmitting said audio communicator message and information via internet from the game console.

In an embodiment, the wireless adapter further comprises wireless transmitting circuitry for transmitting said controller information and audio communication via internet to said controller and audio communicator.

In an embodiment, the wireless adapter further comprises power supply means for supplying power to said wireless transmitter circuitry. The wireless audio communicator may include an audio communicator slot disposed on said wireless adapter for providing a user with access to the audio communication via internet while said wireless adapter is disposed in the at least one audio communicator slot on the game console. The power supply means may include batteries contained within said wireless adapter. Still further, the power supply means may include circuitry for obtaining power from the game console via the at least one memory slot, controller port, USB port or audio communicator slot.

The wireless communication protocol or protocols used in the wireless audio communicator may include Radio Frequency (RF), Bluetooth (RF) or other electromagnetic radiation.

In an embodiment, the audio communicator includes an audio communicating on-live via internet to at least one party at another part of the world, the game controller being genre specific and being selected from a group consisting of racing, fighting, shooting, platform/adventure, flight simulator, motorcycle/bike, pool cue, fishing, snow board, golf and baseball.

In still another of its aspects, the present invention provides a wireless control device includes a controller and an audio communicator for converting a video game system having a game console with game controller ports and at least one USB port, one memory slot and an audio communicator slot and being adapted to operate with wired controllers and audio communicator into a system operable with wireless controllers and wireless audio communicator, the wireless control device comprising a game controller and an audio communicator having at least one user operable switch and wireless transmitter circuitry for transmitting game control information and a game audio communication; a wireless adapter connected to the game console via the at least one memory slot/USB port, communicator slot and having wireless receiver circuitry for receiving said game control information and audio communication from said game controller and said audio communicator; and wireless communication protocol for controlling the transmission and receiving of wireless signals between said controller/audio communicator and said wireless adapter.

In yet another of its aspects, there is provided a method of gaming, comprising providing a portable game controller operable to receive gaming instructions from at least one game participant, providing one or more effects generators for generating one or more game effects, providing a game console including a game processor to advance a game sequence in response to the gaming instructions, and configuring the portable game controller and the game console to be operable to transfer operational gaming data associated with the gaming instructions and/or the game effects therebetween over a wireless data link therebetween.

In yet another of its aspects, there is provided a method of gaming, comprising: a step for providing a portable game controller operable to receive gaming instructions from at least one game participant; a step for providing one or more effects generators for generating one or more game effects, providing a game console including a game processor to advance a game sequence in response to the gaming instructions, and a step for configuring the portable game controller and the game console to be operable to transfer operational gaming data associated with the gaming instructions and/or the game effects therebetween over a wireless data link therebetween.

In another of its aspects, the present invention provides a gaming device, comprising portable game control means operable to receive gaming instructions from at least one game participant, effects generating means for generating one or more game effects, game console means including game processor means to advance a game sequence in response to the gaming instructions, at least two of the portable game controller means, the game console means and the effects generating means being operable to transfer operational data associated with the gaming instructions and/or the game effects over a wireless data link therebetween.

Preferably, the game console means includes at least one data port, further including adapter means to communicate with the game console means via the at least one data port.

In an embodiment, the adapter means is operable to establish a wireless data link with at least one of the portable game control means, the effects generating means and the game console means.

In one example, the least one data port includes a USB port, a serial port, a parallel port, an audio port, a memory port, an RCA port, a keyboard or joystick port, a line-of-sight optical port or a combination thereof.

In one embodiment, the adapter means is operable in a first phase to exchange operational data associated with the gaming instructions with the portable game controller means and in a second phase to exchange data associated with one or more game effects with the effects generating means.

In one example, the effects generating means includes an audio communicator, such as a beeper or speaker.

In an embodiment, the adapter means includes a first adapter portion which is operable in the first phase and a second adapter portion which is operable in the second phase. Preferably, the first and/or second adapter portions include at least one data port which is complementary with the data port on the game console means. Desirably, each of the first and second adapter portions have mutually complementary data ports to establish a data link there between. In this case, the first adapter portion may be operable to be plugged into one of the data ports on the game console means or the portable game controller means and the second adapter portion may be operable to be plugged into one of the data ports on the first adapter portion.

In still another of its aspects, the present invention provides a wireless adapter device for use in converting a gaming system into a wireless gaming system, the gaming system having a portable game controller, a game console and at least one game effects device for generating a predetermined game effect, the wireless adapter device comprising first data port means for establishing a wired and/or wireless data link with the game console, second data port means for establishing a wired and/or wireless data link with the portable game controller and third data port means for establishing a wired and/or wireless data link with the at least one game effects device.

In an embodiment, the device includes a first adapter portion including the first data port and a second adapter portion including the second data port, wherein each of the first and second adapter ports have at least one third data port for establishing a wired and/or wireless data link there between. The one or more of the data ports on the first and second adapter portions may include a USB port, a serial port, a parallel port, an audio port, a memory port, an RCA port, a keyboard or joystick port, a line-of-sight optical port or a combination thereof.

In yet another of its aspects, the present invention includes a wireless adapter device for use in converting a gaming system into a wireless gaming system, the gaming system having a portable game controller, a game console and at least one game effects device for generating a predetermined game effect, the wireless adapter device comprising first data port means for establishing a data link with the game console, second data port means for establishing a data link with the portable game controller and third data port means for establishing a data link with the at least one game effects device, wherein one or more of the first, second and third data port means is operable to establish a wireless data link.

In yet another of its aspects, there is provided a method of gaming, comprising: a step for providing a portable game controller operable to receive gaming instructions from at least one game participant; a step for providing one or more effects generators for generating one or more game effects, providing a game console including a game processor to advance a game sequence in response to the gaming instructions, and a step for configuring the portable game controller and/or the one or more effects generators and the game console to be operable to transfer operational gaming data associated with the gaming instructions and/or the game effects therebetween over a wireless data link therebetween.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Several preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the appended drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective schematic representation of a wireless gaming device;

FIG. 2 is a perspective schematic representation of another wireless gaming device;

FIG. 3 is a perspective schematic representation of yet another wireless gaming device;

FIG. 4 is a block diagram of portions of the device of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is a block diagram of portions of the device of FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 shows a wireless gaming device 10 having a portable game controller 12 operable to receive gaming instructions from at least one game participant and transmit them to a game console 14. The portable game controller 12, in this case, is hand held and includes one or more effects generators for generating one or more game effects such as for example, a vibration means. The game console 14 includes a game processor which carries out a pre-programmed game provided on a game card, memory cartridge, or storage disk or the like, (not shown) having memory means for storing a game program and is received in a corresponding game slot or disk reader on the game console. The game console 14 is thus operable to advance a game sequence in response to the gaming instructions from the participant as entered in the portable game controller 12.

The portable game controller 12 and the game console 14 are also operable to transfer operational gaming data associated with the gaming instructions and/or the game effects therebetween over a wireless data link therebetween. This is achieved, in this particular example, by way of a data relay station (or wireless control receiver) 18, which is operable to establish a first data link 20 with the game console and a second data link 24 with the portable game controller 12.

The first data link 20 may be wired and/or wireless. In this particular example, the game console 14 and the data relay station 18 are provided with a plurality of data ports, as shown at collectively at 25 and 26 respectively. In this case, the first data link 20 is established by at least one data port on the data relay station by way of data cable 28 coupled therewith. Though not shown, the data cable 28 may either be hard wired directly to the data relay station 18 or coupled by way of one of data ports 26 as desired. In this case the data ports 25, 26 may include any combination of one or more USB ports, serial ports, parallel ports, audio ports, and/or memory card ports. The data ports may include an RCA plug port, a keyboard port, a game port or a joystick port and, still further, may include one or more line-of-sight optical ports or a combination thereof.

Thus, while the data link 20 is provided by a cable 28 in this example, it may also be established by a range of other communication means, such as a by an optical beam either in the visible or invisible spectrums or a combination thereof, or over a carrier signal at one or more frequencies, frequency ranges, or frequency patterns, or over a magnetic coupling or a combination thereof. The first data link may desirably include a protocol stack including one or more of USB, Bluetooth, WiFi and/or other 802.11 protocols, TCP/IP and/or other internet protocols, or satellite or cell packet protocols, SSL and/or other encryption, encoding or authentication protocols.

The second data link 24 may also be wired and/or wireless. In this case, the second data link may be established by way of an optical beam either in the visible or invisible spectrums or a combination thereof, or over a carrier signal at one or more frequencies, frequency ranges, or frequency patterns, over a magnetic coupling, or a combination thereof. Desirably, the second data link includes a protocol stack including one or more of USB, Bluetooth, WiFi and/or other 802.11 protocols, TCP/IP and/or other internet protocols, or satellite or cell packet protocols, SSL and/or other encryption, encoding or authentication protocols.

The portable game controller 12 may also be provided with any combination of one or more USB ports, serial ports, parallel ports, audio ports, or memory card ports. The data ports may include an RCA plug port, a keyboard port or a joystick port and, still further, may include one or more line-of-sight optical ports or a combination thereof. In this case, the one or more of the effects generators includes a vibrating unit located onboard the portable game controller 12. In this particular case, the portable game controller includes a port 30 to receive the plug on a cable 32 a of an audio headset 32. The audio headset provides high quality full-duplex voice signals to permit interactive voice communications between the gaming participant using the wireless gaming device 10. The data channel 50 is operable to provide sufficient bandwidth to enable the voice communications.

While the portable game controller 12 is in this case a handheld version, it may alternatively be a head set and/or be otherwise arranged to be carried or worn by the participant, or more than one participant as the case may be.

Though not shown, one or more power sources are provided for supplying power to the portable game controller 12, the game console 14 and/or the data relay station 18 which may include one or more batteries, or a wired coupling between an external power supply and/or portable game controller, the game console and/or the data relay station. The power may be, in some cases, shared between one or more units through wired couplings therebetween. For instance, the game console 14 may be provided with a power plug engagable with an external power source such as a wall outlet, a solar collector, a battery or some other onboard or external power generating means.

The portable game controller 12 further includes a housing 34 with external graphics and indicia including a pair of hand grip formations 36 and a plurality of buttons 38 including directional control buttons, sequence buttons, a joy stick and the like. In this case, housing, the game effects generators and indicia may be genre specific and selected from a group consisting of racing, fighting, shooting, platform/adventure, flight simulator, motorcycle/bike, pool cue, fishing, snow board, golf and baseball, among many other possibilities.

The device 10 is designed to operate with game console 14. Parts or functions associated with the game console 14 may include a programmed logic controller or some other form of controller. It may be included in a software program configured to run on a general purpose computer, such as personal computer, or on a more substantial computer mainframe, which is operable to work within a network, for data to be uploaded to a central database. The network may thus involve several general purpose computers, for example those sold under the trade names Apple™ or IBM™, or clones thereof, which are programmed with operating systems known by the trade names WINDOWS™, LINUX or other well known or lesser known equivalents of these. The system may involve pre-programmed software using a number of possible languages or a custom designed version of a programming software sold under the trade name ACCESS™ or similar programming software. The computer network may be a wired local area network, or a wide area network such as the Internet, or a combination of the two, with or without added security, authentication protocols, or under “peer-to-peer” or “client-server” or other networking architectures. The network may also be a wireless network or a combination of wired and wireless networks. The wireless network may operate under frequencies such as those dubbed ‘radio frequency’ or “RF” using protocols such as the 802.11, TCP/IP, WiFi, Bluetooth and the like, or other well known Internet, wireless, satellite or cell packet protocols. The system may, alternatively, include a single custom built computer which is dedicated to the function of the system alone.

Thus, the wireless gaming device 10 allows one or more participants to play a predetermined video game where a wireless connection may be provided between one or more components of the gaming device 10. In the specific example of gaming device 10, the portable game controller 12 has a wireless data link with the data relay station 18 in a manner allowing the participant at the portable game controller 12 to be positioned at any one of a number of locations in a room, an adjoining room or the like. If desired, the game console 14 and the data relay station 18 may be in different rooms or indeed in different buildings or indeed in different countries in which case the game console 14 and the data relay station may be operable to exchange data over a local area network, a wide area network, either wired or wireless or both, over a satellite network, or over a cell packet network, which may or may not include the internet. The game console 14 may, for example, be replaced by a notebook or desktop computer.

FIGS. 2 and 5 illustrate another embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of the embodiment, while FIG. 5 illustrates a block diagram of the embodiment. Gaming device 40 is operable for use with a game console means 14 having a game processor means (not shown) to advance a game sequence in response to the gaming instructions. The gaming device 40 has a portable game controller means 42 operable to receive gaming instructions from at least one game participant, effects generating means, for generating one or more game effects, and a wireless headset means 44, for transmitting and receiving audio information, such as for example, voice communications between a participant operating gaming device 40, and remote participants, playing interactively, operating similar gaming systems at a remote location. The portable game controller means 42 and the game console means 14 are operable to transfer operational data associated with the gaming instructions over a wireless data link therebetween, as shown at 50.

The game console means 14 includes a number of data ports 25 and an adapter means is provided at 54 to communicate with the game console 14 means via the at least one data port 25.

The adapter means 54 is operable to establish a wireless data link with the portable game controller means 42, via data link 50 and the headset means 44 by way of data link 56. If the adapter means 54 is also operable to establish a data link with the game console means 14.

The data ports 25 may include a USB port, a serial port, a parallel port, an audio port, a memory port, an RCA port, a keyboard or joystick port, a line-of-sight optical port or a combination thereof.

The adapter means 54, in this case, is operable in a first phase to exchange operational data associated with the gaming instructions with the portable game controller means 42, and in a second phase to exchange data associated with an audio signal, with the head set 44.

The adapter means 54 includes a first adapter portion 58 which is operable in the first phase and a second adapter portion 60 which is operable in the second phase. The first adapter portion 58 has a data port 58 a which is complementary with one of the data ports 25 on the game console means 14. Desirably, each of the first and second adapter portions have mutually complementary data ports 58 b, 60 a, respectively, to establish a wired data link there between. In this case, the first adapter portion 58 may be operable to be plugged into one of the data ports 25 on the game console means and the data port 60 a of the second adapter portion 60 may be operable to be plugged into the data port 58 b on the first adapter portion 58.

Thus, the gaming system 40 provides for a headset means 44 and a portable game controller means 42 to be wirelessly connected to a game console means for operating a game therein. The adapter means 54 may be sold separate with or without the headset means 44 or the portable game controller means 42. Further, the adapter means 54 provides a convenient way to retrofit a game console otherwise capable only of wired data exchange with a headset means and/or a game controller or other peripherals therewith. FIG. 5 will be discussed in further detail below.

It will be understood that the certain components, portions, data ports and data links of the gaming system 40 may include features in common with those of the gaming system 10 and vice versa.

FIGS. 3 and 4 schematically illustrate another gaming device 62 having a portable game controller 64 operable to receive gaming instructions from at least one game participant. FIG. 3 is a perspective view and FIG. 4 is a block diagram representation. The portable game controller 64 includes one or more effects generators for generating one or more game effects, including lights 64 a, buttons 64 b and a vibrating unit 64 c. In the embodiment represented in FIGS. 3 and 4, the portable game controller 64 is a wireless game controller 64. The game controller 64 communicates game control data and duplex audio data, wirelessly, with a wireless controller receiver represented by dongle 76.

The gaming device 62 provides an audio headset 66 having one or more speakers 66 a and a microphone 66 b and which communicates with the portable game controller 64 over a first data link (via cable 68) to exchange an audio data signal therebetween. In this case, the first data link is a wired data link, provided by a cable 68 and mutually compatible ports between it and the portable game controller 64. The first data link may, if desired, be replaced by a wireless audio link as shown at 69.

A game console 14 exchanges operational data with the portable game controller 64. In this case, the operational data includes gaming instructions and the game console 14 includes a game processor 72 to advance a game sequence in response to the gaming instructions and to present the game on a video terminal shown schematically at 73.

The game console 14 includes a plurality of first data ports 25. A dongle unit is generally shown at 76 and includes a housing 78 with a second data port 80 extending outwardly therefrom to connect with one of first data ports 25 on the game console 14. An additional port 79 may be provided on dongle unit 76, to accommodate a memory card, for example.

Referring to FIG. 4, the dongle unit 76 includes a first RF transceiver portion 82 and the portable game controller 64 includes a second RF transceiver portion 84. The first and second RF transceiver portions 82, 84 establish a wireless data link 86 between the dongle unit 76 and the portable game controller 64 to exchange both the audio data and operational data.

The dongle unit 76 has a first microcontroller unit (MCU) chip portion 88 to receive the audio data and operational data from the game processor 72 of game console 14, for example through mutually compatible ports 80 and 25 such as USB ports therebetween forming a data path as shown at 88 a. A first baseband chip portion 90 exchanges the audio data with the first MCU chip portion 88 over a data path 92 between their respective USB and USB Hub ports. The first baseband chip portion 90 also exchanges the operational data with the first MCU chip portion 88 over a data path 94 between their respective serial peripheral interface (SPI) ports. The first baseband chip portion 90 combines or integrates the audio data and operational data and encodes on a data path 96 to be received by the first RF transceiver portion 82, which in turn exchanges the encoded data with the second RF transceiver portion 84 in the portable game controller 64 over a common carrier signal, forming the wireless data link 86. In a preferred embodiment, the wireless data link 86 is a Bluetooth compatible signal.

The first MCU chip portion 88 dispatches and receives operational data by way of a control key signal which controls data exchange between the game console 14 and the portable game controller 64. In one operative phase, the first MCU chip portion 88 receives a control key signal from the first baseband chip 90 when a portable game controller user depresses one of the buttons 64 b on the portable game controller 64. Thus, the payload of the control key signal received by the MCU chip portion will thus vary depending on which button 64 b is depressed.

In another operative phase, the first MCU chip portion issues a control key signal according to operational data for one or more “game effects” as issued by the game processor 72. A second USB Hub port 93 on MCU chip 88 is connected to an external socket 95 to accommodate for example, a memory card.

The portable game controller 64 has a second baseband chip portion 98 which exchanges the encoded data with the second RF transceiver portion 84 over a data path 100. The second baseband chip portion 98 decodes the encoded data to separate the operational (key control) data and the audio data, to deliver the operational data over a data path 102 and the audio data over a data path 104. A second MCU chip portion 106 receives the operational data at its SPI port from the data path 102 and exchanges the operational data with a register portion 108 over a data path 109, which in turn exchanges data with one or more game effects generators including the lights 64 a, the buttons 64 b and the vibrating unit 64 c over a corresponding one or more data paths. In an example, a vibration effect control key signal is transmitted through the baseband unit 90, RF unit 82, across date link 88 to RF unit 84, baseband unit 98 through second MCU 106, through register unit 108, to operate vibrating module 64 c within the portable game controller 64. Other “game effects” data may also be sent via the control key signal, such as blinking lights 64 a or beep, sounds and the like.

The first MCU 88 can be a Genesys Logic Inc. GL653 or a U44R110, or for example another MCU which is able to support both USB and SPI ports and additionally can support two USB hub ports. The second MCU portion 106 can implemented by a SN8A1707 or a EM78P451, or for example, another MCU capable of reading operational data from the baseband unit 98 and transferring it to the appropriate effect generator, and capable of receiving game participant's inputs from various buttons 64 b and/or analog inputs and transferring them to baseband controller 98 via an SPI port.

The baseband units 90 and 98 can be implemented using for example, a Conwise CW6621, or for example another baseband chip capable of accepting data from an SPI port and voice data over a USB port and combining them and transferring them to a RF transceiver.

The RF transceivers 82, 84 can be implemented using a Signia Technologies SGN5010 Bluetooth transceiver, for example.

CODEC chip portion 110 exchanges audio data with the second baseband chip 98 over the data path 104. In this case, the CODEC chip portion 110 decodes the audio data to form an analog signal, then amplifies and delivers the analog audio signal to the driver (speaker) of the audio headset 66 over a data path 112. The microphone 66 b of the audio headset 66 dispatches an audio signal to the CODEC chip portion 110 over the data path 116, which then, conversely, encodes the analog audio signal into a digital audio signal. In this case, the data paths 112, 116 are both provided over the cable 68 of first wired data link.

In this example, the wireless data link 86 is managed by the dongle unit 76 and the portable game controller, under the Bluetooth protocol, though other protocols may also be used as necessary, such as I/R, RF, WIFI, 802.11 and the like. In this case, the first and second transceiver portions 82, 84 include a 2.4 GHz RF chip.

As a host, the game console 14 may be that sold under the trade names XBox™, Sony Playstation™, Nintendo™ or other dedicated game console; a PC or other computer implemented system; or a communicating device capable of issuing signals including audio data and control data. The host may also be an adapter in between the dongle unit 76 and the game console 14. In this case, the game console 14 is also in communication with a server 120 on the internet 122 or another host using TCP/IP or other applicable network and/or communications protocols.

The dongle unit 76 is matched for dedicated operation with only one host. For instance, if the host is an Xbox™ game console, then the dongle unit 76 is dedicated to operate with the Xbox™, to the exclusion of other hosts. However, the dongle unit 76 may, if desired, be provided with the capability to operate with more than one host, depending on the proprietary nature of the software protocols of each host and communications applications encoded in the dongle unit 76.

The device operates as follows. First, the dongle unit 76 is selected to match the game console 14 and is connected thereto. The user then powers up the game console 14, initiates a game and plugs the audio head set 66 into, and grasps the portable game controller 64. The game sequences are displayed on the video terminal 73. Watching the video terminal 73, the user then acts and reacts to the game sequences. The game processor 72 generates or plays pre-recorded audio signals which are played through the speakers of the video terminal or through the speakers of a separate audio or stereo system.

While the game progresses, the game processor 72 within game console 14 issues an operational data stream to trigger one or more game effects generators, such as the vibrating unit 64 c in the portable game controller 64. The game processor also handles audio data sequences from remote game participants playing interactively with the user of portable game controller 64 and forms an audio data stream. Both the operational and the audio data streams are dispatched over the data path 88 a to the first MCU chip portion 88 in the dongle unit 76. The first MCU chip portion 88 then dispatches the audio data stream over the data path 92 and the operational data stream over the data path 94. The first baseband chip portion 90 combines or integrates the two data streams onto a single data stream over the data path 96 to the first transceiver portion 82 which dispatches the encoded data stream to the second transceiver portion 84 in the portable game controller 64 over a 2.4 GHz carrier signal forming the second data link 86.

The second transceiver portion 84 dispatches the encoded data stream to the second baseband portion 98 which separates or disintegrates the encoded data stream into the audio data stream and operational data stream components. The audio data stream is then dispatched to the CODEC chip 110 on the data path 104 and the operational data stream is dispatched to the SPI port of the second MCU chip portion 106 over the data path 102. The second MCU chip portion 106 then conveys the operational data stream to the corresponding one or more effects generators via data path 109. In one example, the vibrating 64 c may be the only effects generator receiving operational data from the game console, namely a vibrating unit, though there may be others, such as for example, lights and the like.

The CODEC chip portion 110 receives the audio data stream, decodes the data therein and forms an amplified analog audio signal which is dispatched to the one or more speakers 66 a on the audio head set 66, via data path 112. Similarly, the CODEC chip portion 110 receives an analog signal from the microphone 66 b in the audio headset 66 on data path 116 and the digitizes the signal to form a digital audio data stream which is conveyed to the second baseband chip portion 98, which in turn encodes the audio data stream with one or more operational data signals received from the register portion 108 and dispatches the integrated signal to the second baseband chip portion 98 which in turn conveys the integrated signal to the second RF transceiver portion 84 which in turn conveys the signal over the second data link 86 to the first RF transceiver portion 82 and correspondingly to the first baseband portion 90. The latter decodes the signal into its audio and operational data constituents and conveys them respectively on the data paths 92, 94 to the first MCU chip portion 88 which delivers the audio and operational data constituents signal to the game console 14 by way of the data path 88 a.

Thus, it will be seen that each of the dongle unit 76 and the portable game controller 64 has an MCU chip portion, a baseband chip portion and a 2.4 GHz RF chip, while the portable game controller 64 has an additional CODEC chip portion 110. The dongle unit 76 and portable game controller 64 comply fully with the Bluetooth standard whereby the data are kept intact therebetween, considering normal transmission errors under this protocol. Thus, the gaming device 62 integrates gaming control signals and audio communication data signals and provides a single wireless data transmission path carrying both the operational data and the voice data using the Bluetooth standard, allowing a game player to play a game by the wireless portable game controller 64 with the audio headset 66 (comprising 66 a and 66 b) without the need for the audio headset 66 to be connected independently to the game console 14.

The operation of the embodiment the gaming system 40 of FIG. 5 (represented in perspective view in FIG. 2) will now be described in more detail. In this embodiment, gaming system 40 comprises a wireless game controller 42, a wireless headset 44, a first adapter portion 58 (“dongle”) and a second adapter portion 60. The wireless game controller 42 is operable to be in wireless communication with the first adapter portion 58 using wireless data link 50; and wireless headset 44 is operable to be in wireless communication with second adapter portion 60 using wireless link 56. First adapter portion 58 is operable to communicate with data port 25 of game console 14 via port 58 a and with second adapter portion 60 via port 58 b. In this embodiment, operational data (key control data) is transmitted via wireless data link 50 and audio data is transmitted via a separate wireless data link 56. In operation, a user playing a video game on console 14, wears headset 44 and holds wireless controller 42. During game play, the user operates keys 150 a, buttons 150 b and/or joystick controls 150 c on wireless controller 42, which are detected by MCU 152 which encodes corresponding key control data signals onto data link 154 to baseband controller 156 which formats the data and transmits it to RF transceiver 160, via data link 158. The RF transceiver 160 then transmits the key control data via wireless data link 50 to corresponding RF transceiver 162 of first adapter means 58. In one embodiment, RF transceivers 160, 162 conform to the Bluetooth™ wireless standard maintained by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. RF transceiver 162 sends the key control data via data link 164 to baseband controller 166 which formats the key control data for transmission via SPI data link 168 to an SPI port on MCU 170. The MCU 170 transmits the key control data to data port 25 of console 14. With reference to FIG. 5, expansion port 58 b of first adapter means 58 is connected to a first USB Hub port 171 of MCU 170. The expansion port 58 b is operable to accept connector means 60 a of second adapter means 60 for operation with a wireless headset 44. In one embodiment, a second USB Hub port 173 of MCU 170 is provided for external expansion to, for example to a memory card (not shown).

Game effects generated by game console 14 are encoded into “key control” data signals and follow the same data path in the reverse direction to MCU 152 which activates the appropriate effects generator such as vibration unit 150 d. During game play the user can speak into microphone 174 to generate an analog audio signal which is sent to CODEC 176 which digitizes the audio signal for transmission via data link 178 to baseband controller 180 which formats the audio data and transmits via data link 182 to RF transceiver 184 which then transmits the audio data via wireless data link 56 to corresponding RF transceiver 188 of second adapter means 60. In a preferred embodiment, RF transceivers 184, 188 conform to the Bluetooth™ wireless standard maintained by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. RF transceiver 188 sends the audio data via data link 190 to baseband controller 192 which formats the audio data to a USB compatible format for transmission via connector means 60 a, to expansion port 58 b through to USB data link 193 to the first USB Hub port 171 of MCU 170. The MCU 170 then sends the audio data to data port 25 of game console 14. Game console 14 is operable to transmit the audio data to remote game consoles via a network, the Internet or other means. In this manner, an audio communication can be established among multiple users playing a compatible video game and networked appropriately. Audio data from remote users can be received by the game console 14 which conveys the “remote” audio data along the same data path in a reverse direction to CODEC 176 which converts the remote audio data to analog form to send to speaker 194 of wireless headset 44. While communications protocols such as USB, SPI, and Bluetooth have been described with respect to this embodiment, other communications protocols can also be used. Thus the gaming system 40 permits transmission of gaming control signals and audio communication data signals in a wireless environment. Gaming control data signals are sent to and from a wireless controller and audio communication data signals are sent to and from a wireless headset.

While the present invention has been described for what are presently considered the preferred embodiments, the invention is not so limited. To the contrary, the invention is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. The scope of the following claims is to be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent structures and functions.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/39
International ClassificationG08C17/02, A63F13/02, A63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2300/1037, A63F13/06, A63F2300/1031, A63F2300/1025
European ClassificationA63F13/06
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
25 Apr 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: ESEL INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD, HONG KONG
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:CHAN, ANDY K.K.;LI, KONG CHAO;REEL/FRAME:016516/0381
Effective date: 20050425