PlayStation has been working on NFT and blockchain technology, Sony patent reveals

A newly published patent suggests that Sony Interactive Entertainment is actively exploring the use of NFTs and blockchain technology in games.

NFTs are unique non-interchangeable units of data stored on a blockchain (a form of digital ledger), which allow users to buy and sell digital products such as game items or artwork.

Originally unveiled last year and released this month, the Sony patent (via Gamesual) is titled “Tracking Unique Game Digital Assets Using Tokens on a Distributed Ledger.”

It covers a system that could be used to track the creation, use, modification and transfer of digital assets created within a game and / or assets created based on the gameplay of a video game.

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“People often find it meaningful to own or use unique physical items related to celebrities or respected businesses,” the background section of the patent notes. “For example, fans of skilled baseball player Babe Ruth, or baseball in general, often seek to purchase and own Ruth’s autographed baseballs, baseballs hit by Ruth in a major baseball game, stickers depicting Ruth and the like “.

Sony suggests its system could be used to verify the authenticity of digital assets used by experienced gamers or popular content creators, which other gamers may want to buy, rent.

“Experienced multiplayer video game players gain popularity in matches or tournaments, which are often live streamed or otherwise broadcast to large audiences,” he wrote. “Likewise, popular gamers often live stream or otherwise stream single-player or multiplayer video game gameplay, such as where players run or attempt fast-paced runs, in-game challenges, multiplayer matches, or other activities. of game. Some particularly skilled or charismatic players can develop a large following of devoted fans, just like fans of famous athletes, singers, actors, or other celebrities.

“In some video games, a player can use digital assets while playing. Such digital assets may include, for example, specific characters, costumes or items. In traditional video games, there are multiple instances of the same game object within the same copy of the video game and / or in different copies of the video game.

“These different instances of the same game object are traditionally fungible, as they are indistinguishable from each other. For example, even if a particular game object is rare to obtain within the video game, the game object is represented in the video game as a string of code identical to the representations of other instances of the same in-game object in the same video game and / or in other copies of the same video game. Therefore, in traditional video games, no digital resource is unique compared to other instances of the same object of game.

“As a result, in traditional video games, there is no way to know, track or authenticate the history of a particular instance of a game object. For example, in traditional video games, there is no way to differentiate a specific instance. of a game item that a famous video game player used to win a famous tournament from any other instance of the game object. ”

Sony said the systems and technologies described in its patent application could be used to track the lifecycle of digital assets across different hardware platforms, including those “from a different but inferior manufacturer” and on titles from various publishers.

He wrote: “The techniques and technologies described here expand the capabilities of the digital assets associated with video games and the systems that create and manage those digital assets by converting the digital assets associated with video games from fungible to non-fungible.

“The techniques and technologies described here expand the functionality of digital assets associated with video games and the systems that create and manage those digital assets by tracking a history of digital assets.

“Monitoring the history of digital assets may include, for example, monitoring when, how and by whom the digital asset was created, used, modified, rented, leased, sold, purchased from, licensed, licensed from, traded with, traded from and / or other shares “.

Sony recently launched a new loyalty program called PlayStation Stars, which allows players to earn digital rewards by completing various tasks. However, he was quick to distance himself from the program from NFTs, which have drawn criticism in some quarters due to the format’s high carbon footprint and what many perceive as a cynical implementation.

“They’re definitely not NFTs,” Grace Chen, PlayStation’s vice president of network advertising, loyalty and licensed products, told the Washington Post. “Surely not. You cannot trade or sell them. It is not leveraging any blockchain technology and certainly not NFT. ”

Game companies that have launched NFT projects or are considering doing so include Square Enix, Ubisoft, Konami, and Sega.