Patent-diggers have uncovered a 2010 filing for the phrase "Massively Single Player" in connection with, apparently, a new game, or, more accurately, a new kind of game.
The idea of the MSP genre is that you play as a single player, but exist in a world where other player's actions impact the characters and environment. This would offer players some of the benefits of a traditional online world without the drawbacks inherent to massively multiplayer online games. According to the application, "Those who want to play games that are more dynamic, not-based on Al and not-pre-scripted like multiplayer games, however, don't want to 'deal' with other people, appreciate the privacy it provides."
The game also could allow gamers to communicate through NPCs, so if you talk to an NPC, the rumor might be passed on to other gamers in their own world. Also, if you happen upon a pile of lumber and build a house, other players will see a house, but no builder.
A massively single-player game could have an economy, in which supply and demand is determined by the collective of players as opposed to arbitrarily determined.
Eventually, when loneliness overtakes you, you can add friends and share a world in common.
The filing includes more information beyond the "massively single-player" concept. Specifically, it refers to an implementation of the idea on "a home video game system such as the Nintendo Wii 3D video game system, a Nintendo DS or other 3D capable interactive computer graphics display systems."
So what do you think? Is Nintendo's idea a good one? Would you be into it?