A new Sony Interactive Entertainment patent filing spotted by Segment Next indicates the company is working to implement a stronger framework for NFTs in its video games and consoles. While the popularity of NFTs has waned significantly over the last few years, sped along by the collapse of the cryptocurrency market, it appears Sony isn’t quite done with the blockchain-based technology.
The company’s newly-published patent is titled ‘NFT Framework For Transferring And Using Digital Assets Between Game Platforms’ and explores the potential for NFTs to be played with and transferred between video games, with players reaping the benefits in multiple games.
‘Current systems are technologically inadequate for the owner to use the asset across different games and platforms,’ the patent says. ‘Accordingly, as further recognised herein, the functionality of the game may be enhanced by enabling gamers and/or spectators to exclusively use the asset and possibly transfer its rights to others via NFT.’
While the technology is not yet available, Sony has proposed a system by which NFTs could be used to provide specific benefits to select players.
For example, it suggests a player who is the ‘first’ to beat a particular boss in a game could be rewarded with a special NFT that grants a unique weapon, or another reward. Given complications like the fact that games press and influencers often receive early access to titles, it’s unclear how this would be fair – but Sony appears enthusiastic about this application regardless.
The patent further enthuses about the potential for ‘a certain level, score, and/or points accumulation in a particular video game’ to be minted, with this progress then able to be transferred or sold, allowing players to advance their own gameplay via NFT.
‘The NFT may then be transferred to someone else, who may then resume the game where the transferor left off according to the NFT so that the transferee begins gameplay at the same level, with the same score, and/or with the same points accumulation as the transferor,’ the patent says.
The intrinsic benefit of having another player complete these NFT-charged gameplay segments is not dwelt upon – nor is the precise reason why people play games: for fun. Transferring your gameplay, or skipping parts of games to gain some intangible digital reward, feels at odds with the joy of gaming.
At this stage, it’s unclear how these NFTs will be implemented in a meaningful way. The bubble of enthusiasm for this technology has already burst, and the benefits outlined here aren’t tantalising enough to make a case for the potential loss of goodwill that may spawn from their inclusion. For now, we’ll have to wait to see what Sony has in store for NFTs.