Title:
[LIGHT GUN]
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A light gun, which includes a control circuit, which communicates with a game machine main unit through a communication interface provides the game machine main unit with the coordinates data of the aiming point at a display screen detected by a position sensor, a firing button, which outputs a firing signal to the game machine main unit through the control circuit, and an autoloading control for setting the number of bullets to be reloaded automatically for enabling the light gun to reload bullets automatically subject to the set number after firing of a predetermined number of bullets.



Inventors:
Cheng, Chiu-hao (TAIPEI, TW)
Cheng, Ming-gwo (TAIPEI, TW)
Application Number:
11/160291
Publication Date:
03/30/2006
Filing Date:
06/17/2005
Assignee:
ZEROPLUS TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD. (Chungho City, Taipei Hsien., TW)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/02; A63F13/06; A63F13/219
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
D'AGOSTINO, PAUL ANTHONY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BIRCH, STEWART, KOLASCH & BIRCH, LLP (FALLS CHURCH, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A light gun used with a game machine main unit and a display screen to play a shooting game, the light gun comprising: a control circuit; a communication interface, which allows communication between said control circuit and said game machine main unit; a position sensor, which detects the aiming point of said light gun at said display screen and sends the coordinates data of the aiming point to said game machine main unit through said control circuit; a firing button adapted to output a firing signal to said game machine main unit through said control circuit; wherein said control circuit has an autoloading control electrically connected thereto for setting the number of bullets to be automatically reloaded for enabling said light gun to reload bullets automatically subject to the set number after firing of a predetermined number of bullets.

2. The light gun as claimed in claim 1, wherein said autoloading control allows to set the number of bullets to be 0˜1+N, and the autoloading function is off when adjusted to 0.

3. The light gun as claimed in claim 1, wherein said control circuit further has a switch set electrically connected thereto for function control.

4. The light gun as claimed in claim 3, wherein said switch set includes an autofiring switch, which allows the light gun to fire bullets automatically when switched on.

5. The light gun as claimed in claim 3, wherein said switch set includes a semiauto firing switch for initiating a semiauto firing function.

6. The light gun as claimed in claim 3, wherein said switch set includes an autofiring plus autoloading switch for initiating an autofiring plus autoloading function.

7. A light gun used with a game machine main unit and a display screen to play a shooting game, the light gun comprising: a control circuit; a communication interface, which allows communication between said control circuit and said game machine main unit; a position sensor, which detects the aiming point of said light gun at said display screen and sends the coordinates data of the aiming point to said game machine main unit through said control circuit; a firing button adapted to output a firing signal to said game machine main unit through said control circuit; wherein said control circuit has an autofiring speed control electrically connected thereto and adapted to let the player adjust the firing speed.

8. The light gun as claimed in claim 7, wherein said autofiring speed control is settable to autofiring zero speed mode, semiauto firing mode, and 1˜1+N mode selectively, and the autofiring function of the light gun is off when adjusted said autofiring speed control to said autofiring zero speed mode.

9. The light gun as claimed in claim 7, wherein said control circuit further has a switch set electrically connected thereto for function control.

10. The light gun as claimed in claim 9, wherein said switch set includes an autoloading switch, which allows the light gun to reload bullets automatically.

11. The light gun as claimed in claim 9, wherein said switch set includes an autofiring plus autoloading switch for initiating an autofiring plus autoloading function.

12. A light gun used with a game machine main unit and a display screen to play a shooting game, the light gun comprising: a control circuit; a communication interface, which allows communication between said control circuit and said game machine main unit; a position sensor, which detects the aiming point of said light gun at said display screen and sends the coordinates data of the aiming point to said game machine main unit through said control circuit; a firing button adapted to output a firing signal to said game machine main unit through said control circuit; wherein said control circuit has an autoloading control electrically connected thereto for setting the number of bullets to be automatically reloaded for enabling said light gun to reload bullets automatically subject to the set number after firing of a predetermined number of bullets, and a speaker electrically connected thereto for producing a sound corresponding to the operation of the light gun when firing/reloading a bullet.

13. A light gun used with a game machine main unit and a display screen to play a shooting game, the light gun comprising: a control circuit; a communication interface, which allows communication between said control circuit and said game machine main unit; a position sensor, which detects the aiming point of said light gun at said display screen and sends the coordinates data of the aiming point to said game machine main unit through said control circuit; a firing button adapted to output a firing signal to said game machine main unit through said control circuit; wherein said control circuit has an autofiring speed control electrically connected thereto and adapted to let the player adjust the firing speed, and a speaker electrically connected thereto for producing a sound corresponding to the operation of the light gun when firing/reloading a bullet.

Description:

This application claims the priority benefit of Taiwan patent application number 093214715 filed on Sep. 15, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a light gun for use with a game machine main unit and a display screen to play a shooting game and more particularly, to such a light gun, which allows the user to set the number of bullets to be automatically reloaded for enabling the light gun to reload bullets automatically subject to the set number after firing of a predetermined number of bullets.

2. Description of the Related Art

Video game providers have been continuously creating new video games to attract people to play and to increase market share. Shooting game is one of the most popularly invited video games in the market for the advantages of providing exciting and attractive adventures. A shooting game player can soon get into the virtual reality world of the game to become one of the characters in the game. Nowadays, an advanced game machine for shooting game uses a light gun instead of a joystick for firing control.

In order to let the player enjoy the virtual reality, a variety of different guns may be simulated in a shooting game, such as automatic rifle, UZI, pistol, sniper rifle, etc. Further, in order to fit the characteristics of different guns, the light gun must provide added operation functions. FIG. 4 is a block diagram of a light gun according to the prior art. According to this design, the light gun A comprises a control circuit A1, a photo receiver A2, a firing button A3, a communication interface A4, an autoloading switch A5, an autofiring switch A6, a semiauto firing switch A7, and an autofiring plus autoloading switch A8. The communication interface A4 allows communication between the light gun A and a game machine main unit B. When the player pressed the firing button A3, the photo receiver A2 receives a signal from a display screen C indicative of the coordinates data of the impact point of the shot (bullet), and the control circuit A1 immediately feeds back the impact point signal to the game machine main unit B, for enabling the game machine main unit B to calculate the coordinates of the impact point at the display screen C and to further proceed with further game program processing. When playing the game, the user can use the autoloading switch A5, the autofiring switch A6, the semiauto firing switch A7, and the autofiring plus autoloading switch A8 to control the operation of the simulated gun in the game.

However, the aforesaid autoloading switch A5, autofiring switch A6, semiauto firing switch A7 and autofiring plus autoloading switch A8 are respectively provided for on/off two positions selections. For example, when switched on the autoloading switch A5, the light gun A will automatically reload the bullets before empty; when switched off the autoloading switch A5, bullet reloading operation will be executed after the player achieves a particular operation control. However, different magazines for different guns carry different amount of bullets. For example, some magazines allow loading of 6 bullets, and some others allow loading of 15 bullets. The on/off autoloading switch A5 is not highly compatible to different shooting game programs.

8Further, if the autofiring switch A6 is “on” position, the light gun A will keep firing the bullets when pressed the firing button A3. On the contrary, if the autofiring switch A6 is “off” position, the light gun A will fire only one bullet each time the player pressed the firing button A3. However, the firing speed varies with different game programs. In one game program, the simulated gun may be set to fire 3 bullets in one second. In another game program, the simulated gun may be set to fire 10 or more bullets in one second. However, the autofiring switch A6 allows the light gun A to fire bullets at a constant speed. This is a compatibility problem.

Further, the sound effect to match the light gun A in a conventional shooting game comes from the audio output at the display screen C but not from the light gun A itself. When playing the game, the background music of the game disturbs the firing sound of the light gun A, causing the player unable to fully enjoy the virtual reality of the game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been accomplished under the circumstances in view.

According to one aspect of the present invention, the light gun comprises an autoloading control electrically connected to the control circuit thereof for setting the number of bullets to be automatically reloaded for enabling the light gun to reload bullets automatically subject to the set number after firing of a predetermined number of bullets.

According to another aspect of the present invention, the light gun comprises an autofiring speed control electrically connected to the control circuit thereof and adapted to let the player adjust the firing speed.

According to still another aspect of the present invention, the light gun further comprises a speaker electrically connected to the control circuit thereof for producing a sound corresponding to the operation of the light gun when firing/reloading a bullet.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a system block diagram of a light gun according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a system block diagram of an alternate form of the light gun according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a system block diagram of another alternate form of the light gun according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a system block diagram of a light gun according to the prior art.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1, a light gun 10 in accordance with the present invention is shown comprising a control circuit 110, a communication interface 120, a position sensor 130, a firing button 10, an autoloading control 150, and a switch set 160. The communication interface 120, the position sensor 130, the firing button 140, the autoloading control 150 and the switch set 160 are respectively electrically connected to the control circuit 110.

The communication interface 120 allows communication between the control circuit 110 and a game machine main unit 20.

The position sensor 130 detects the aiming point of the light gun 10 at a display screen 30, and sends the coordinates data of the aiming point to the game machine main unit 20 through the control circuit 110.

The firing button 140 is adapted to output a firing signal to the control circuit 110 when pressed by the user, causing the control circuit 110 to transmit this firing signal to the game machine main unit 20.

The autoloading control 150 is adapted to control automatic reloading of bullets after a predetermined number (the set amount) of bullets have been fired. The autoloading control 150 can control adjustment of the number of bullets to be 0˜1+N. When adjusted to zero, the autoloading function is off.

The switch set 160 includes an autofiring switch 1610, a semiauto firing switch 1620, and an autofiring plus autoloading switch 1630.

When using the light gun 10 to proceed with the game executed by the game machine main unit 20, the user can operate the autoloading control 150 to set the autoloading mode, enabling the light gun 10 to automatically reload the bullets after the set amount of bullets have been fired. After the aimed the light gun 10 at the object on the display screen 30 and pressed the firing button 140, the firing button 140 outputs a firing signal to the control circuit 110, and the control circuit 110 immediately transmits this firing signal to the game machine main unit 20, causing the game machine main unit 20 to make a corresponding control. When the number of bullets fired reaches the number set predetermined the autoloading control 150, the control circuit 110 will immediately drives the game machine main unit 20 to reload the bullets for enabling the player to continue the shooting game.

Further, when the user adjusts the autoloading control 150 to zero, the autoloading function of the light gun 10 is off, and the user must proceed with a particular control to have the light gun 10 reload the bullets after the light gun 10 is empty.

Further, the user can selectively the switch set 160 on the autofiring switch 1610, the semiauto firing switch 1620, or the autofiring plus autoloading switch 1630 to initiate an autofiring function, a semiauto firing function, or an autofiring plus autoloading function.

FIG. 2 shows an alternate form of the present invention. According to this embodiment, the light gun 10 comprises a control circuit 110, a communication interface 120, a position sensor 130, a firing button 140, an autofiring speed control 170, and a switch set 160. The autofiring speed control 170 allows the user to adjust the firing speed so as to fit different shooting games. The autofiring speed control 170 can be set to autofiring zero speed mode, semiauto firing mode, or 1˜1+N mode. When adjusted to semiauto firing mode, the player must release the firing button 140 after predetermined bullets have been fired before entering a next firing cycle.

Further, the switch set 160 according to this embodiment includes an autofiring plus autoloading switch 1630 and an autoloading switch 1640. When switched on the autofiring plus autoloading switch 1630, the light gun 10 can automatically fire the bullets and automatically reload the bullets. When switched on the autoloading switch 1640, the light gun 10 can automatically reload the bullets, however the autofiring function is off.

FIG. 3 shows another alternate form of the present invention. This embodiment is substantially similar to the embodiment shown in FIG. 2 with the exception of an addition speaker 180. The speaker 180 is electrically connected to the control circuit 110 and adapted to output a corresponding sound when the user operates the light gun 10 to fire a bullet or to reload a bullet.

As indicated above, the light gun of the present invention has the following characteristics.

1. The autofiring speed control that is connected to the control circuit of the light gun allows the player to adjust the firing speed under the autofiring mode so as to fit different shooting games and to increase the compatibility of the light gun with the game being played. This autofiring speed control can substitute for the autofiring switch and semiauto firing switch of the prior art light gun to lower the manufacturing cost of the light gun.

2. The autoloading control that is connected to the control circuit of the light gun allows the player to adjust automatic loading of bullets after a predetermined number (the set amount) of bullets have been fired, so as to increase the compatibility of the light gun with the game being played. This autoloading control can substitute for the autoloading switch of the prior art light gun to lower the manufacturing cost of the light gun.

3. The speaker that is connected to the control circuit of the light gun enables the light gun to produce a corresponding sound when the user operates the light gun to fire a bullet or to reload a bullet, preventing interference of the music of the game being played with the sound simulating the firing or reloading of a bullet.

Although particular embodiments of the invention have been described in detail for purposes of illustration, various modifications and enhancements may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited except as by the appended claims.