If you thought that the NFT craze was going to go away, and that your favourite console manufacturers were going to abstain from getting involved, you seemingly need to think again. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, the unique non-interchangeable units of data stored on a blockchain have been sweeping through the world of tech, and now, it seems like PlayStation are getting in on the act. A few weeks ago, PlayStation launched a program called PlayStation Stars, a rewards program, with rewards for in-game accomplishments, that the company insisted were not NFTs, but now we learn that they might be looking into the concept on the side.
This month, a Sony patent was published, titled, ‘Tracking Unique In-Game Digital Assets Using Tokens on a Distributed Ledger’, one that highlighted a process to create, track, use, and modify the transferring of digital assets created in-game.
The patent reads,
Skilled players of multiplayer video games gain popularity in matches or tournaments, which are often live-streamed or otherwise broadcast to numerous viewers, likewise, well-known players often live-stream or otherwise broadcast gameplay of single-player or multiplayer video games, for instance in which the players perform or attempt speed-runs, in-game challenges, multiplayer matches, or other gameplay activities. Some players who are particularly skilled or charismatic can develop large followings of devoted fans, much like fan followings for famous athletes, singers, actors, or other celebrities.
In some video games, a player can use digital assets during gameplay. Such digital assets can include, for example, specific characters, costumes, or items. In traditional video games, multiple instances of the same in-game item exist within the same copy of the video game and/or within different copies of the video game.
These different instances of the same in-game item are traditionally fungible, as they are indistinguishable from one another. For instance, even if a particular in-game item is rare to obtain within the video game, the in-game item is represented in the video game as a string of code that is identical to representations of other instances of the same in-game item in the same video game, and / or in other copies of the same video game. Thus, in traditional video games, no one digital asset is unique from other instances of the same in-game item.
As a result, in traditional video games, there is no way to know, track, or authenticate a history of a particular instance of an in-game item. For instance, in traditional video games, there is no way to differentiate a specific instance of an in-game item that a famous player of the video game used to win a famous tournament from any other instance of the in-game item.
If the patent is anything to go by, NFTs, which at one point felt as though they were fading into obscurity in the video game space, might be on the verge of soaring with the likes of PlayStation, Konami and Square-Enix both seemingly embracing the model.