Even as the broader NFT market experiences a marked decline in the wake of the FTX collapse and ongoing “crypto winter,” Sony is taking its first steps towards incorporating Web3 into its gaming business, namely blockchain technology. According to a patent filing from 2021 made publicly available this month, the Japanese electronics giant is interested in NFTs as well as cryptocurrency transactions, with the filing highlighting the expected applications of NFTs in creating and manipulating in-game assets.
According to the filing, the system would allow players to exchange assets within games leveraging the blockchain to confirm authenticity. As Decrypt noted this week, Sony’s moves “[point] to the worldwide popularity of gaming, and players who want to own unique items associated with their favorite celebrities, activities, and esports tournament winners.” The patent application details Sony’s plan to use the blockchain to record “digital media assets, gameplay, and video clips” and include a unique token for the digital item with a unique identifier and metadata that would identify the properties of the digital asset.
In its own words, Sony pointed out that its Web3 foray is designed to both authenticate and differentiate in-game assets, pointing out that in traditional video games, “there is no way to differentiate a specific instance of an in-game item that a famous player of the video game used to win a famous tournament from any other instance of the in-game item.”
While this isn’t Sony’s first foray into NFTs — that being its May 2022 partnership with Theta Labs on a collection of 3D NFTs — it is certainly the company’s most significant move in the space. But beyond the in-game applications detailed in this patent filing, Sony’s Web3 expansion could prove a major milestone in the cultural industries, with the company potentially applying the same mechanisms to its other businesses within the artistic fields.
Gaming, of course, is just one of many segments under Sony’s belt, with the conglomerate also a major world leader in entertainment by way of its music and film businesses. Could Sony’s planned Web3 extensions ultimately play in to these other areas of focus, making Sony a true pioneer in the space?