Sony Seeks Patent for Super-Fungible Gaming Tokens

BATS:SONY   Sony Group Corporation
Sony's latest patent application shows how PlayStation could use blockchain gaming tech to let players own their unique assets.

A recently published patent application from tech Giant Sony, the maker of PlayStation, detailed the concept of “super-fungible tokens” for games, which would be stored on a distributed ledger (DLT) and transferable from player to player.

Many gamers have had experiences where they get really into a video game, spend a bunch of money on in-game skins or battle passes, and eventually get tired of the game. When this happens in traditional “Web2” games, players are forced to accept the money spent on in-game assets as a sunk cost, and move on. You typically can't sell those assets.

But blockchain gaming changes all of that, and the recent patent application—filed in 2022 but just published to the public last week—from Sony ( SONY ) about super-fungible tokens hints that the tech giant might want to get in on the shift.

The patent application outlines a process of tracking a set of gaming assets associated with a player on an “electronic device” and generating metadata based on those assets. The metadata would then be used to create a super-fungible token—essentially a bundle of various NFTs—where the token is created by the storage of said metadata on a distributed ledger (DL) that is “associated with the gaming application.”

The application implies that Sony ( SONY ) is considering allowing NFTs in its games. While the patent does include the term “Distributed Ledger Technology,” (DLT) aka a blockchain, it does not specify whether or not it would be a private or public ledger. Sony ( SONY ) does specify that the distributed ledger in question would be “associated with the gaming application,” which suggests that Sony may plan to launch its own chain for such an endeavor.

However, whether or not Sony launches NFTs on a public blockchain like Ethereum or Solana, or on a private chain of its own making, NFT adoption from such a big player in the gaming industry would be a huge leap forward for blockchain enthusiasts.

In practice, super-fungible tokens are essentially a bundle of unique in-game assets—such as skins, weapons, vehicles, etc. that are tokenized as NFTs—that can be used within video games. If Sony ( SONY ) were to pursue using this patent, it would mean that one of the largest gaming companies in the world is potentially interested in allowing players to own their own in-game assets.

At the end of the day, it’s up to Sony how much financialization it allows. If Sony ( SONY ) chooses to pursue this framework on a private chain that it controls, then the gaming giant could impose all sorts of restrictions—but there’s no indication yet that Sony actually plans to roll out this functionality any time soon, if ever.

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