A new patent for Sony PlayStation shows that it is looking into using NFTs to track in-game assets. Meanwhile, rival Xbox is being more cautious, though its chief says that there is potential in new technologies.
According to PlayStation’s patent filings, Sony is getting more interested in NFTs and blockchain technology. The patent is called “Tracking Unique In-Game Digital Assets Using Tokens on a Distributed Ledger.” It primarily focuses on the expected applications for NFTs in gaming, namely creating, using, and modifying in-game assets.
The patent was first submitted on May 7, 2021, but published only a few days ago. It’s what one would expect from an NFT implementation in games, but it is notable that a gaming giant like Sony would consider the technology.
The patent uses baseball card collections as an example but notes that the NFTs could have value if they could be transferred across blockchains or platforms. The patent pays particular focus to what is likely the eSports industry, noting that these individuals can have a large following. As such, there could be NFTs associated with these events and individuals commemorating special occasions.
While Sony seems to be moving forward with its NFT plans, Xbox has only hinted at even considering NFTs. Microsoft’s head of gaming, Phil Spencer, stated that there could be “some interesting things” with NFTs and play-to-earn mechanics but urged caution.
Sony going deeper into NFTs
Sony has experience with NFTs, and the gaming-related patent is far from the first foray into the technology. The company is working with Theta Labs to launch 3D NFTs compatible with spatial reality displays. Sony Europe also joined Theta’s blockchain validator program.
The NFTs would be viewable in mixed reality, which is another technology that is rapidly developing. Sony Music has also considered NFTs, with the company filing a trademark to use the Columbia Records logo for NFT releases.
Gaming studios see potential
The gaming industry is moving towards the use of NFTs, with several major companies making related efforts. Square Enix recently announced its Symbiogenesis NFT Project, an NFT-based interactive experience. In August, Atari revealed an NFT collection with artist Butcher Billy celebrating “50 years of Atari.”
In what is one of the biggest developments, Ubisoft launched Ubisoft Quartz, a platform for “playable, energy-efficient NFTs.” It has since ended NFT content and support for its Ghost Recon Breakpoint game.