Sony Interactive Entertainment has been actively investigating the usage of NFTs and blockchain technology in games, according to a recently issued patent.
The Sony patent, obtained through Gamesual, is titled “Tracking Unique In-Game Digital Assets Using Tokens on a Distributed Ledger” and was first submitted last year.
It discusses a system that might be used to monitor the development, use, modification, and transfer of digital assets made for use in games and/or assets made in response to video game gaming.
“Individuals often find it meaningful to own or use unique physical items related to respected celebrities or activities,” the background section of the patent notes. “For example, fans of skilled baseball player Babe Ruth, or of baseball in general, often seek to purchase and own baseballs autographed by Babe Ruth, baseballs hit by Babe Ruth in an important baseball game, trading cards depicting Babe Ruth, and the like.”
Sony suggests its system could be used to verify the authenticity of digital assets used by skilled players or popular content creators, which other players may want to buy, sell or rent.
The systems and technologies outlined in Sony’s patent application can be used to track the lifecycle of digital assets across several hardware platforms, including those “of a different yet inferior manufacturer,” and across titles from different publishers, the company claimed.
It wrote: “The techniques and technologies described herein expand the capabilities of digital assets associated with video games, and of systems that create and manage such digital assets, by converting the digital assets associated with video games from being fungible to being non-fungible.
“The techniques and technologies described herein expand the functionality of digital assets associated with video games, and of systems that create and manage such digital assets, by tracking the history of the digital assets.
“Tracking the history of the digital assets can include, for example, tracking when, how, and by whom the digital asset was created, used, modified, rented to, rented by, sold to, purchased by, licensed to, licensed by, exchanged to, exchanged by, and/or other actions.”
PlayStation Stars is a brand-new loyalty program from Sony that allows users to earn digital rewards by engaging in a variety of tasks. The program was keen to distinguish itself from NFTs, which have come under fire in some circles for their heavy carbon footprint and what many see to be deceptive implementation.