Home‎ > ‎

Everybody copies

So you think Sony is the only company guilty of copying do you? My how you've turned a blind eye to whatever is your favorite company. I'm not surprised really. 
Alright, let's go through the list of every offense I can think of. Note: I am counting gaming applications used before the company commonly known as the originator, so force feedback pagers don't count for example. And not necessarily the first known case, just one that happened before the company commonly thought to have invented it or first used it for gaming. And they do have to be publicly available for purchase (no arcade games, no MIT supercomputers. Rarity is irrelevant) I am trying to back up as much as possible with links (except the note, I really don't care if you believe those, just the dates. And if you don't believe my source find your own and I'll correct it. Unlike the fanboys that inspired this page, I don't reject facts/reality.

Contents

  1. 1 Nintendo
    1. 1.1 D-pad
    2. 1.2 Videogame Console
    3. 1.3 Lightgun
    4. 1.4 Hardware add-ons (For example the ability to add a disc drive)
    5. 1.5 Persistent (not password based) Savedata
    6. 1.6 Inter-changeable cartridge based portable
    7. 1.7 LCD based portable (not like Tiger/Game & Watch)
    8. 1.8 Portable multiplayer via link cable
    9. 1.9 More than 2 players for portable multiplayer
    10. 1.10 Side-mounted Buttons (shoulder/trigger)
    11. 1.11 Untextured, flat-shaded/solid-filled polygonal 3D
    12. 1.12 Binocular parallax 3D
    13. 1.13 4 controller ports not using a multitap
    14. 1.14 Analog stick
    15. 1.15 Using another system's games as a memory card
    16. 1.16 RAM Expansion Pack
    17. 1.17 Voice control
    18. 1.18 Force Feedback
    19. 1.19 Backwards compatibility
    20. 1.20 Color LCD (on a portable)
    21. 1.21 Multiboot (booting from a remote source like via link cable)
    22. 1.22 DVD storage medium
    23. 1.23 Dual Analog sticks and integrated rumble
    24. 1.24 Analog triggers
    25. 1.25 Connectivity to a portable system
    26. 1.26 RF (not IR) based wireless controller
    27. 1.27 Touch screen-based portable
    28. 1.28 Wifi in a portable
    29. 1.29 Web browser in a portable
    30. 1.30 Able to turn on the system via remote
    31. 1.31 Always on/Always connected functionality
    32. 1.32 Low budget downloadable games
    33. 1.33 Downloadable emulated legacy games
    34. 1.34 Wifi in a console
    35. 1.35 USB
    36. 1.36 Removable faceplates
    37. 1.37 Web browser in a console
    38. 1.38 Bluetooth protocol used for wireless controllers
    39. 1.39 Using non-console specific flash memory cards
    40. 1.40 Motion sensing
    41. 1.41 Speaker in the controller
    42. 1.42 Slot loading disc tray
    43. 1.43 Wii's Classic controller
    44. 1.44 Predictive text entry
    45. 1.45 Console-Arcade Connectivity
    46. 1.46 Bathroom Scale Controller
    47. 1.47 Analog Nub on a portable
    48. 1.48 Video generated by a console streamed to a portable for use as a controller
    49. 1.49 Gaming-dedicated Twitter clone
    50. 1.50 Glasses-less 3D on a portable
    51. 1.51 Dual analog built-in to a portable
    52. 1.52 Dual analog as an add-on for a portable
  2. 2 Microsoft
    1. 2.1 USB
    2. 2.2 Hard drive
    3. 2.3 Click-able dual Analog sticks and integrated rumble
    4. 2.4 Ethernet based internet connection
    5. 2.5 Analog face buttons
    6. 2.6 The 'Duke' controller
    7. 2.7 The 'S' controller
    8. 2.8 Microphone for VOIP
    9. 2.9 Embedded OS API
    10. 2.10 Legacy-Free PC based architecture
Let's start with Nintendo since they've been around longest and have copied the most

Nintendo

Total Items 52
Total not copied 3

D-pad

System Game & Watch
Released 1982
What did it copy Intellivision
Released 1980
How it was different Intellivision's supported 16 directions, Nintendo's supported 8. More ergonomic cross shape
Note Nintendo wanted a low-form factor version of an analog stick for a portable system that would close up
Credit Mappy Mouse

Videogame Console

System NES
Released July 15, 1983
What did it copy Magnavox Odyssey
Released May 1972
How it was different For starters, the NES was based on 8x8 sprites

Lightgun

System NES
Released July 15, 1983
What did it copy Magnavox Odyssey's Shooting Gallery
Released May 1972

Hardware add-ons (For example the ability to add a disc drive)

System NES
Released July 15, 1983
What did it copy Atari 2600 (used the joystick and cartridge ports for various addons)
Released 1977
How it was different A dedicated port on the bottom, rather than using a connector mainly used for controllers/games

Persistent (not password based) Savedata

System NES (Zelda 1)
Released February 21, 1986
What did it copy Atari 7800 "hi-score" cartridge
Feature announced 1984
How it was different Zelda had it built in, and not an external memory card

Inter-changeable cartridge based portable

System Gameboy
Released April 21, 1989
What did it copy Microvision
Released 1979
How it was different The Microvision had other things embedded in the cartridge (like a processor) Gameboy's carts just held the game data

LCD based portable (not like Tiger/Game & Watch)

System Gameboy
Released April 21, 1989
What did it copy Epoch Game Pocket Computer
Released 1984

Portable multiplayer via link cable

System Gameboy
Released April 21, 1989
What did it copy Nothing, it was the first

More than 2 players for portable multiplayer

System Gameboy Four-play adapter
Released February 1991
What did it copy Atari Lynx
Released October 1989

Side-mounted Buttons (shoulder/trigger)

System SNES
Released November 21, 1990
What did it copy Atari 5200/7800
Released 1982/June 1984
How it was different The side it was located on
Note Nintendo wanted more buttons like the Genesis, but realized adding more to the face/top makes it harder to use the buttons simultaneously

Untextured, flat-shaded/solid-filled polygonal 3D

System Starfox SNES
Released February 21, 1993
What did it copy Archimedes Elite
Released 1991
How it was different Starfox used a graphics co-processor where ArcElite used no additional hardware to the system

Binocular parallax 3D

System Virtual Boy
Released July 21, 1995
What did it copy Sega VR
Released Announced 1991 (Assumed it came out less than 4 years later)
How it was different Virtual Boy was a stand-alone, monochromatic where Sega's was an add-on to the Master system, and in full color

4 controller ports not using a multitap

System Nintendo64
Released June 23, 1996
What did it copy Atari 5200
Released 1982

Analog stick

System Nintendo64
Feature Announced November 24, 1995
Released June 23, 1996
What did it copy GCE Vectrex
Released 1982
How it was different Larger thumbrest
What did it copy Atari 5200
Released 1982
How it was different Larger thumbrest, Self centering
What did it copy Sony Analog Flightstick
Feature Announced August 1995
Released April 1996
How it was different The joystick on the Sony was analog potentiometers (same as in Dual Shock), the Nintendo one is actually digital like a mouse ball

Using another system's games as a memory card

System N64 GB Transfer Pak
Released April 30, 1999
What did it copy Nothing, it was the first

RAM Expansion Pack

System Nintendo64
Released June 23, 1996
What did it copy Sega Saturn
Released November 22, 1994

Voice control

System Nintendo64 (Hey you Pikachu)
Released December 12, 1998
What did it copy LaserScope
Released 1990
How it was different I'd say the LaserScope only knew one word (fire) but at times the same could be said about the N64 one...
Credit SteveX

Force Feedback

System Nintendo64
Released April 27, 1997 (along side Starfox)
What did it copy CH Products ForceFX
Released November 1996 Second link
How it was different No longer built in, ran off batteries

Backwards compatibility

System Gameboy Color
Released October 21, 1998
What did it copy Atari 7800
Released June 1984

Color LCD (on a portable)

System Gameboy Color
Released October 21, 1998
What did it copy Atari Lynx
Released October 1989

Multiboot (booting from a remote source like via link cable)

System GBA
Released March 21, 2001
What did it copy Atari Lynx Lynx/PC serial cable
Released 1989
How it was different Rather than linking to PCs to receive game executables like the Lynx, GBA would link to other GBA's, and GameCubes

DVD storage medium

System Gamecube
Released September 14, 2001
What did it copy PS2
Released March 4, 2000
How it was different Smaller discs, lower bandwidth and storage capacity

Dual Analog sticks and integrated rumble

System Gamecube
Released September 14, 2001
What did it copy Playstation 1 Dual Shock
Released Late 1997
How it was different No click-in state in cube's implementation

Analog triggers

System Gamecube
Released September 14, 2001
What did it copy Dreamcast
Released November 27, 1998
How it was different A click-in state, horizontal layout rather than vertical drop down

Connectivity to a portable system

System Gamecube to GBA
Released September 14, 2001
What did it copy
PS1 to PocketStation
Released
January 23, 1999
What did it copy Dreamcast to VMU
Released November 27, 1998
How it was different VMU plugged into Dreamcasts controller, where GBA plugged into a cable which plugged into Cube's controller port directly. GBA was also capable of letting Cube link with stand alone GBA games for data transfer
What did it copy Dreamcast to Neo Geo Pocket Color
Released 1998
How it was different DC-NGPC was mainly used for data transfer since NGPC could not boot executables from a remote source, where GBA could. Though admittedly GBA was mostly used the same way as NGPC was for the first while

RF (not IR) based wireless controller

Released June 10, 2002
What did it copy Mad Catz 900MHz Dual Force Controller
Released September 29, 2001
How it was different Mad Catz's controller had a charger for it's battery, macros, steering wheel modes and rumble. Neither of which Wavebird had

Touch screen-based portable

System DS
Released November 21, 2004
What did it copy Tiger Electronic's Game.com
Released 1997
How it was different The Game.com's screen was divided into a grid, where DS has per-pixel touch sensitivity, so I'll do another example just in case
What else did it copy Tapwave Zodiac
Released October 2003
How it was different The Zodiac had a single large touchscreen, and more processing power

Wifi in a portable

System DS
System announced January 21, 2004 (Assumes Wifi announced either the same time as, or after the system)
What did it copy PSP
Feature announced July 29, 2003
How it was different DS's wifi is limited to short preamble mode, lowering it's speed and power usage in comparison to PSP. It also is shorter range, and ad-hoc mode doesn't use the standard wifi protocol

Web browser in a portable

System DS
Feature Announced February 15, 2006
Released July 24, 2006
What did it copy PSP
Feature Announced July 21, 2005
Released July 26, 2005
How it was different PSP's browser was free, and installed to PSPs built in flash, is upgradable, supports javascript and Adobe Flash, and the API can be used by games.
DS's came as a DS card and GBA cartridge, which can't be used by games to download game content (or anything).

Able to turn on the system via remote

System Wii
Feature announced September 15, 2005
What did it copy XBOX360
Released November 22, 2005
Feature announced May 12 2005
What else did it copy PS2 revision V9 SCPH-50000/SCPH-50001
Released May 15, 2003
How it was different PS2 used an infrared remote addon at the start (later built in), where Wii has the functionality built into it's primary controller

Always on/Always connected functionality

System Wii (Connect24)
Feature announced May 10, 2006
What did it copy PS3
Feature announced April 2, 2004 and again May 16, 2005
How it was different The Wii can only receive email-like messages while off, PS3 is fully accessible by PSP over the internet
PS3's fan remains on while the system is off, Wii's doesn't (resulting in overheating)

Low budget downloadable games

System Wii
Feature announced June 7, 2006
What did it copy XBOX 1
Feature released November 4, 2004
How it was different XBOX 1 had it as a seperate disc, Wii has it built in
What did it copy XBOX360
Feature released November 22, 2005
How it was different It's not.

Downloadable emulated legacy games

System Wii
Feature shown May 18, 2006
What did it copy XBOX 1
Feature released November 4, 2004
How it was different XBOX 1 had it as a seperate disc, Wii has it built in
What did it copy XBOX360
Feature released November 22, 2005
How it was different It's not. Both Wii and 360 have the emulator and the ROM itself as a single file
Though PS3/PSP has it built into the firmware, allowing them to improve functionality across the board

Wifi in a console

System Wii
Released May 17, 2006
What did it copy PS3
Feature announced May 16, 2005
How it was different Wifi is available in all but one PS3 model/SKU, where in Wii it's in every SKU, until they released the MINI Wii which lacks Wifi

USB

System Wii fit
Feature announced July 11, 2007
What did it copy PS2
Released March 4, 2000

Removable faceplates

System GBA Micro
Feature shown May 21, 2005
What didn't it copy XBOX360
Feature shown E3 2005 (May 12, 2005)
How it was different Considering how closely they were both shown/announced/whathaveyou, they were not copies, but in development at the same time.

Web browser in a console

System Wii
Feature announced May 23, 2006
What did it copy Dreamcast
Feature announced November 27, 1998
How it was different DC's came via discs included with the system, the only way to update the browser was to request a new disc
Wii's came via a paid (now free) download from their store

Bluetooth protocol used for wireless controllers

System Wii
Feature announced May 16,2006
What did it copy PS3
Feature announced May 16, 2005
How it was different Wii supports 4 controllers instead of PS3's 7

Using non-console specific flash memory cards

System Wii
Feature announced June 26, 2006
What did it copy PSP
Feature announced December 12, 2004
How it was different PSP only supports Memory Stick Pro/Pro Duo, where Wii supports SD
What else did it copy PS3
Feature announced May 16, 2005
How it was different PS3 supports SD, Memory Stick (many types), and Compact flash in some model/SKUs, where Wii supports SD in every system

Motion sensing

System Wii
Released November 19, 2006
Feature announced September 16, 2005 licensed from Gyration
What did it copy Atari 2600 Le Stick
Released "dates back more than 20 years"
What else did it copy Mattel Powerglove
Released 1989
What else did it copy Logitech Wingman
Released 1999
What else did it copy Microsoft Sidewinder
Released 1999
What else did it copy    
Sony's Move
Feature first revealed
2000
What else did it copy EMS LCD Topgun
Released March 16, 2006
What else did it copy PSP's Mercury Tilt Sensor
Feature Announced December 23, 2004
Note: The PSP tilt sensor was never released, this is only for proof that Sony did not steal the idea from Nintendo
How it was different Combination of Atari's/Logitech's/Microsoft's tilt, HKems' display independent light gun/Powerglove, and added acceleration and depth perception in relation to the sensor bars

Speaker in the controller

System Wii
Feature shown May 10, 2006
What did it copy XBOX Nyko SpeakerCOM
Released August 17, 2004
How it was different The SpeakerCOM has a built in self-muting microphone, volume control and mute button, Wii does not. Though Wii's is built in, the SpeakerCOM is not

Slot loading disc tray

System Wii
Feature shown May 18, 2006
What did it copy PSX
Released December 13, 2003
What did it copy PS3
Feature shown May 16, 2005

Wii's Classic controller

System Wii Classic controller
Feature shown May 10, 2006
What did it copy Mad Catz RetroCON
Feature released August 14, 2003
How it was different RetroCON is backlit, and has clickable thumbsticks
What did it copy Dragonplus one
Feature released Unknown, but it's for PS1
How it was different The Wii version has to be plugged into a second, battery powered controller

Predictive text entry

System Wii
Feature announced November 6, 2006
What did it copy PS3
Feature released October 19, 2006 - 2:46 p.m.
How it was different It's not. Nintendo even licensed it from the same company

Console-Arcade Connectivity

System NFL Blitz 99 (N64) Fzero GX (GCN)
Feature released unknown
What did it copy Neo-Geo
Feature released unknown, but the Neo-Geo died before the N64 came out
How it was different It's not.

Bathroom Scale Controller

System Wii Balance Board
Feature released It hasn't yet
What did it copy Atari JoyBoard
Feature released 1982
What did it copy 4 Gamers Sportsboard for PS1
Feature released No idea, but it was for PS1 for pete's sakes
How it was different The shape

Analog Nub on a portable

System 3DS
Feature released 2011
What did it copy PSP
Feature released 2004
How it was different It's not. There are even models of PSP with the same shape of nub.
Worse, Nintendo copied Vita by making a second analog nub attachment.

Video generated by a console streamed to a portable for use as a controller

System WiiU's Gamepad
Feature announced 2011
What did it copy RemotePlay
Feature released 2005
How it was different Wii U's controller isn't usable as a standalone gaming system, but can be used as a TV remote on it's own.
Though RemotePlay can connect via the internet (Wii U can't) and is usable via multiple devices (PSP, Vita, PCs and cell phones)
How are they the same
They even use the same codec (MPEG4 variant) And when you take Vita into account, both it and WiiU's controller use 802.11n

Gaming-dedicated Twitter clone

System WiiU
Feature announced June 4, 2012
What did it copy Vita's activity log
Feature released December 17, 2011
How it was different Vita limits it to people on your friends list, making everything more relevant to you, and your posts more persistent. Wii U doesn't
Vita limits it to games you own, making it again, more relevant to you and easier to find content. Wii U doesn't, and has a huge list of all the games available where Vita lists all the games you own and integrates it into the dashboard
Wii U adds the ability to post screenshots and black/white drawings

Glasses-less 3D on a portable

System 3DS
Feature released 2011
What did it copy Sharp mova SH251iS
Feature released November 16, 2002
How it was different It wasn't

Dual analog built-in to a portable

System New 3DS
Feature released October 11, 2014
What did it copy Vita
Feature released December 17, 2011
How it was different Vita uses identical thumbsticks, 3DS uses 1 big analog nub and a tiny one

Dual analog as an add-on for a portable

System Circle Pad Pro
Feature released December 10, 2011
What did it copy PSP go
Feature released October 1, 2009
How it was different The CPP is self-contained, attaches to the 3DS and adds a second analog nub and 3 buttons, uses infrared and a AAA battery. PSP go uses PS3 controllers, requiring a clip to attach the 2. Doesn't use any of the PSP go's existing buttons, and the second analog stick is only used in Remote Play and PS1 games. Not PSP games, uses bluetooth and has a rechargeable battery. Needs a PS3 or PC to sync the 2.

Thing's to go into: downloadable demos (1st, kiosks or valve?), Microphone (DC, Famicom) (separate DS and cubes) backlit portable (Gamegear) Rumble on a portable (1st, PokePinball) internal battery (GBASP) bypass booting to disc (GCN, DS)

Now on to Microsoft

Microsoft

Total Items 11
Total not copied 1

USB

System XBOX
Released November 15, 2001
What did it copy PS2
Released March 4, 2000
How it was different XBOX used USB with a custom connector shape for the controllers, and had a hub built into the controllers themselves. Where PS2 used USB for peripheral controllers(eyetoy/guncon/flight stick/etc)/ and evices (camera's/hard drives/network cards/etc)

Hard drive

System XBOX
Released November 15, 2001
What did it copy PS2
Released March 4, 2000
How it was different XBOX had a hard drive built in, where PS2 had a slot for a hard drive to be added later (resulting in it being underused)

Click-able dual Analog sticks and integrated rumble

System XBOX
Released November 15, 2001
What did it copy Playstation 1 Dual Shock
Released Late 1997

Ethernet based internet connection

System XBOX
Released November 15, 2001
What did it copy Dreamcast BBA (with PlanetWeb 3.0)
Released September 30, 2001
How it was different XBOX had it built in, where Dreamcast came with a detachable modem, and you could buy an ethernet card

Analog face buttons

System XBOX
Released November 15, 2001
What did it copy PS2
Released March 4, 2000

The 'Duke' controller

System XBOX
Released November 15, 2001
What did it copy Dreamcast
Released November 27, 1998
How it was different USB based, no VMU hole, one more analog stick, integrated rumble, analog buttons, select white and black buttons

The 'S' controller

System XBOX (Japan launch)
Released February 22, 2002
What did it copy Playstation 1 Dual Shock
Released Late 1997
How it was different Dual shoulders instead of quad, 6 face buttons instead of 4, switched Dpad and Analog stick positions

Microphone for VOIP

System XBOX Live Communicator Headset (with XBOX Live!)
Released November 15, 2002
What did it copy Dreamcast (Alien Front Online)
Released August 9, 2001

Embedded OS API

System XBOX (modified Windows 2000 kernal)
Released November 15, 2001
What did it copy Dreamcast (Windows CE)
Released November 27, 1998
How it was different Well Microsoft did both. Is it really copying? Depends if Sega asked first I guess.
Anywho, Windows CE on the DC was more of a dual-boot option that games could be made for if they wanted to. On XBOX the games used the same API from Win2k and DirectX, but didn't really run on an OS just a modified Win2k kernal. Both implimentations were used to make porting from PC easier

Legacy-Free PC based architecture

System XBOX
Released November 15, 2001
What did it copy Nothing, it was the first

Thing's to go into: wired 360 controller (PS2), xbox live (1st), downloadable content, downloadable games, XBOX Guide background OS and OS hook button (PSP), wireless controllers with an integrated charge port (1st), DVD playback (PS2), high def video disc playback (PS3), theme-able OS (PSP), integrated IR port (PS2), media center extender/windows connect (which came first, the PSP locationfree client or the 360?) system-wide custom soundtracks (1st) non-system-wide custom soundtracks (PS1 [games like GTA let you take the disc out and put in an audio disc], PC [Oni for one, let you use an MP3 directory]) turning on/off the system via remote (PS2, difference:controller integration like Wii) downloadable kiosk content (NDS, difference:persistance of data), downloadable demos, marketplace (Sony planned it first for PS2, and brought it out in Japan) HDTV support (PS2) Native VGA support (Lets go with dreamcast) bypass booting to disc (GCN, DS), XNA anybody (PS1/PS2/PS3), downloadable movies/pictures/audio/etc (PSP) camera as an input device (eyetoy/PS2)

Check which had internal clock first (saturn)

Comments