What To Expect From Playstation’s Move Into NFTs.

What To Expect From Playstation’s Move Into NFTs.

It’s official: Sony is looking into NFTs. A recently filed patent entitled “Tracking Unique In-Game Digital Assets Using Tokens on a Distributed Ledger” might sound dry, but the implications are big.

A diagram from the patent.

#1 Sports memorabilia-style collections

Sony really, really likes the idea of sports memorabilia. The background to the patent outlines how digital items could become as valuable as rare sports collectables; it even references Babe Ruth. In practice, this means that nearly everything, characters, weapons, skins, items, images and videos could be tradable on Sony’s own ledger.

#2 Physical items

Sony’s assertion that people like to “own or use unique physical items” suggests that PlayStation NFTs will have some kind of physical utility. This might mean purchasing keys to unlock irl events or receiving physical versions of digital items. Some games even give players the option to purchase homes. If Sony is serious about manifesting digital ownership in real life, then don’t be surprised to see some crossover between virtual and physical real estate.

#3 eSports souvenirs

Many see this as a reason to be optimistic about NFTs.

When it mentions collectables “related to respected celebrities or activities,” the patent is referring to eSports stars and famous gamers. Collectors will be able to purchase items used by their favorite gaming professionals, streamers and personalities. Except to see the sale of "game worn" items like customized weapons wielded by eSports stars (with items used to win tournaments commanding the highest value). 

#4 Dynamic NFTs

Interestingly, the patent mentions “changes to the properties” of digital assets, including their “visual appearance.” This raises the prospect of NFTs that alter over time, perhaps through use (armor could degrade after taking in-game hits, for example) or simply because they age. Storytelling NFTs might change along with the narrative, adding new characters. The time of day, year, season, interactions with other NFTs or specific events could all trigger changes.

#5 Short-form video

Streaming has always been a huge part of the video game industry, but short-form media has increasingly come to dominate. Clips of explosive, suspenseful or seemingly impossible gaming moments circulate widely across TikTok and Instagram. The patent suggests that these “moments” will be made collectable. As well as creating a new market around gaming videos, this would also give professional gamers a stable income stream and incentivize experimentation/creativity in the virtual world.

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