A patent published this month by Sony reveals that the company seems to be expanding into developing NFTs and its own blockchain. This is separate from its PlayStation Stars program, which is already underway and released new rewards for November.
While the patent was published this month, it was actually filed a full year ago, which makes a lot of sense. The NFT landscape was significantly different a year ago, with hopes for the emerging field much higher than they are now. Since then, public and player opinion have both largely turned against NFTs for reasons ranging from artificial scarcity to environmental impact.
Sony's take on NFTs focuses on an area that many others have not yet taken advantage of: the eSports scene and all the fame, prestige, and fan culture that comes with it. Unlike its PlayStation Stars program with its quests and collectibles, Sony's NFT patent focuses on specific items that players would want for the same reason fans want items associated with sports stars. It compares these NFTs with baseballs either signed or hit by baseball stars like Babe Ruth, or similar memorabilia, but relating to in-game items that can be transferred across platforms or blockchains.
The implication is that these NFTs would be the actual digital items used by eSports stars or other gaming influence sphere celebrities like famous content creators. A gun used by Dr. Disrespect, for example, or some other part of his character kit used by the actual Dr. Disrespect at some point. Perhaps Ninja's skin in Fortnite with a unique digital signature written by his hand on each one of the skins, each one a different NFT. Rather than appealing to the fact that an NFT is a unique thing that a player can own, Sony is appealing to the reasons players would actually want to own them.
Of course, items inspired by professional gamers have been available to players before, with a prominent example being skins created for championship teams in League of Legends, so this idea is not wholly unique. Plus, with the current attitude towards NFTs there is a good chance players will not embrace Sony's vision. Reveals like Square Enix making a new NFT instead of Parasite Eve are not often met with praise.
However, despite the general attitude of dislike, many companies are going ahead with NFT plans. Konami is looking to build an NFT marketplace and if Sony's plan works, it will have one of its own. Only time will tell if Sony's plan is successful, but with a currently unique premise, it could at least have a head start in a new NFT market.