A newly published patent shows Sony Interactive Entertainment [2,648 articles]” href=”https://www.videogameschronicle.com/companies/sony/”>Sony Interactive Entertainment is actively exploring the use of NFTs and blockchain technology in games.
NFTs are unique, non-exchangeable units of data stored on a blockchain (a form of digital ledger) that effectively allow users to buy and sell digital products such as in-game items or artwork.
origin [1,247 articles]” href=”https://www.videogameschronicle.com/platforms/pc/origin/”>The Sony patent originally filed last year and published this month (via Gamesual) is titled “Tracking Unique In-Game Digital Assets Using tokens ‘we have distributed ledgers’.
It includes a system that could be used to track the creation, use, modification and transmission of digital assets created in a game and/or assets created based on gameplay of a video game.
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“Individuals often find it useful to own or use unique physical items associated with notable celebrities or activities,” according to the background section of the patent notes. “For example, fans of veteran baseball player Babe Ruth, or of baseball in general, often seek to purchase and own baseballs signed by Babe Ruth, baseballs hit by Babe Ruth in a major baseball game, trading cards featuring Babe Ruth, and the same .”
Sony suggests its system could be used to verify the authenticity of digital assets used by veteran gamers or popular content creators that other gamers might want to buy, sell or rent.
“Veteran multiplayer video game players are gaining popularity in multiplayer matches or tournaments, which are often live streamed or otherwise broadcast to large audiences,” he wrote. “Likewise, popular gamers often live or otherwise broadcast gameplay of single-player or multiplayer video games, such as when players perform or attempt speedruns, in-game challenges, multiplayer matches, or other gaming activities. Some players who are particularly skilled or charismatic can develop a large following of devoted fans, much like fan bases for famous athletes, singers, actors, or other celebrities.
“Some video games allow a player to use digital assets during gameplay. Such digital assets may include, for example, specific characters, costumes, or items. In conventional 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.
“Traditionally, these different instances of the same game item are interchangeable because they are indistinguishable from one another. For example, even if a particular in-game item is rarely obtainable within the video game, the in-game item is represented in the video game as a code sequence identical to representations of other instances of the same in-game item item in the same video game and/or in other copies of the same video game . Therefore, in traditional video games, no digital asset is unique from other in-game instances of the same item.
“As a result, in traditional video games there is no way to know, track, or authenticate the history of any particular instance of an in-game item. For example, in traditional video games, there is no way to distinguish a specific instance of an in-game item that a famous player of the video game used to win a famous tournament from another instance of the in-game item.”
Sony said the systems and technologies described in its patent filing could be used to track the lifecycle of digital assets across different hardware platforms, including those “from a different, albeit inferior, manufacturer” and across titles from different publishers.
He wrote: “The techniques and technologies described herein expand the capabilities of video game-related digital assets and systems that create and manage such digital assets by converting the video game-related digital assets from fungible to non-fungible.
“The techniques and technologies described herein extend the functionality of digital assets related to video games and of systems that create and manage such digital assets by tracking a history of the digital assets.
“Tracking the history of the digital assets may include, for example, tracking when, how, and by whom the digital asset was created, used, modified, leased, leased, sold, purchased, licensed, licensed by, exchanged for, exchanged for, and/or other actions.”
Sony recently launched a new loyalty program called PlayStation Stars, which allows players to earn digital rewards by completing various activities. However, it has been quick to distance the program from NFTs, which have drawn criticism due to the format’s high carbon footprint and implementation that many found cynical.
“They’re definitely not NFTs,” Grace Chen, PlayStation’s vice president of network advertising, loyalty and licensed merchandising, told the Washington Post. “Definitely not. You can’t trade or sell them. It doesn’t use blockchain technologies and it definitely doesn’t use NFTs.”
Gaming companies that have started or are considering NFT projects include Square Enix, Ubisoft, Konami, and Sega.
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