Microsoft patent reveals possible portable parallel processing plans

Thank goodness for the US Patent and Trademark Office. Without it, how would we ever find out about all the wacky ideas that gaming companies come up with, most of which will never see the light of day.

Add on to that list a newly-revealed Microsoft patent application from 2005 for a "multi-component gaming system" in which "the processing capabilities and functionality of each gaming component in a combination are augmented by the processing capabilities and functionality of other gaming components in the combination." In plain English, the patent seems to be proposing a way to connect portable gaming devices (including PDAs and cell phones) and consoles in a way that increases the processing power of all the connected devices. The more "gaming components" in the network, the more computing power is generated.

Is this a hint at a super-networked Xbox 720? A new portable Xbox Lite? A way of linking Windows Mobile PDAs to the 360? It could be all or none of these things, but our money's on the none -- the whole concept requires too much processor coordination and network throughput for our comfort. Still, it never hurts to dream -- and it never hurts to have those dreams protected by patents just in case they one day become realities.

[Via Xbox360Fanboy]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.