Sony has seemingly shown an interest in NFTs and Blockchain technology, according to a recently unearthed patent. Not only that, but it also appears this might be related to the PlayStation Stars program, which launched a short while ago.
The patent shows a system and method for tracking digital assets associated with video games. The digital assets may be in-game digital assets, such as in-game items or characters. The 'assets' in question are digital media assets representing moments of gameplay of a video game, such as video clips or images.
In the background behind the patent, Sony describes that "individuals often find it meaningful to own or use unique physical items related to respected celebrities or activities. For example, fans of skilled baseball player Babe Ruth, or 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."
In the case of video games, these assets can be used during gameplay, and different instances of the same in-game item are traditionally fungible. The background of the patent states that there's no way to track, know, or authenticate a history of a particular in-game item. Sony's patented technology is meant to track these in-game items beyond being a simple line of code.
This sounds very familiar to those who have been forcefully thrust into the blockchain discourse. And there's more where that came from. 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 “of a different albeit inferior manufacturer” and across titles from various publishers.
Additionally, the Sony patent reveals that the method and system will 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 non-fungible.
Those who have begun to catch on to the drift might wonder where this technology could be implemented. And some might immediately think about the PlayStation Stars program, which essentially rewards players with said digital collectibles. Of course, Sony was quick to distance the program from NFTs, but this patent might hint that these will be treated as such in the future. Of course, this is just speculation for the time being.
Regardless, we'll continue to report on this news as more developments arise. PlayStation Stars is currently available for PlayStation Plus members.