Square Enix isn’t the only giant in the games space still exploring blockchain technology, as a new patent suggests Sony is looking into PlayStation NFTs. The patent, which Eurogamer first spotted, is called “Tracking Unique In-Game Digital Assets Using Tokens on a Distributed Ledger,” and it seems Sony is using “digital assets” as a broad term to include a range of possible token-tracked items.
In the patent, Sony says these assets may include anything from characters and in-game items to specific moments captured via screenshots and video grabs. If there was any doubt that the patent referred to NFTs and blockchain technology, the remaining description in the patent puts that to rest.
“A unique token for the digital asset can include a unique identifier and metadata identifying properties of the digital asset,” the patent description reads. “Changes to properties of the digital asset, such as ownership, visual appearance, or metadata, can be identified in a request to update the history. A new block can be generated for, and appended to, the distributed ledger identifying the changes to the history of the digital asset.”
In other words, each asset is minted with a unique token, and any exchanges – which typically involve real-world money – would result in a new entry on the blockchain that keeps track of ownership.
Aside from concerns over environmental effects thanks to the energy required to process just one blockchain transaction, there’s also the question of whether PlayStation NFTs would even appeal to consumers. So far, Ubisoft is the only mainstream game publisher to experiment with NFTs in their games, and they shut the project down almost immediately after it started owing to a lack of interest.
Square Enix also recently announced an upcoming NFT project, Symbiogenesis, though details on it remain thin at the moment.
How Sony would plan to implement these tokens and assets in a game, or indeed, whether they’ll ever be implemented, remains uncertain. Currently, the closest thing Sony has is a range of digital trophies as part of its PlayStation Stars program, though the platform holder explicitly states these aren’t NFTs.
Written by Josh Broadwell on behalf of GLHF