Sony Interactive Entertainment wants to rent non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to players and stream spectators according to a recently published patent. The latest patent by Sony suggests the company may introduce NFTs into the PlayStation ecosystem on PS4 and PS5 in the near future, and PlayStation Stars members may already have a glimpse into what's to come.
A PlayStation survey raised some controversy due to questions involving interest in NFTs this past August. Two months later, the PlayStation Stars loyalty program would launch with digital collectibles sharing similarities to NFTs despite lacking monetary value. These digital collectibles led some PlayStation fans to believe NFTs would eventually come to PlayStation services. Further, a Sony patent made public in November 2022 suggested PlayStation has been developing NFTs and blockchain technology. The company's plans for NFTs have been made even more clear with the most recent patent.
A new patent by Sony suggests the company wants to rent NFTs to PlayStation 5 players and stream spectators. Specifically, the patent describes an interconnected system that gives users an offer to rent a NFT depicting artwork or an asset from popular PlayStation 5 games. This limited-time offer would be displayed in the console's user interface with terms of ownership for a player or a spectator alike. The Sony patent's system indicates that different prices for the NFTs will be offered to players and spectators respectively. Once the rental duration expires, the NFT will be returned to the market for others to rent or purchase.
Gamers renting out NFTs to others on the market may profit from the transactions as well. The NFT market would be directly accessible from a PlayStation 5 console by navigating the user interface. However, the patent itself focuses more on necessary systems and executables allowing players and stream spectators to rent NFTs on a console.
The patent's initial filing was made July 6 last year, which means Sony has been preparing the use of NFTs on consoles for quite some time. The general perception around NFTs has been mostly negative from players, but Sony may eventually introduce an NFT marketplace to PlayStation 5 to further gauge its viability. PlayStation Stars digital collectibles may have been another way Sony gauged interest in NFTs without players needing to make transactions.
Konami is developing a NFT marketplace after conducting its own research, and Sony may do the same according to its PlayStation blockchain technology patent. However, Sony has yet to publicly confirm plans to introduce a NFT marketplace or rental program through PlayStation 5 firmware updates.
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