Sony’s next generation PlayStation 5 video game console might be using some form of blockchain technology. The company has filed a handful of patents that could be incorporated into the newly announced PlayStation. This Monday Sony Interactive Entertainment announced that the PlayStation 5 will launch around the holidays of 2020.
It’s unknown which of the patents are incorporated into the PlayStation 5. However, over the past few years the PlayStation Network became a major source of income for Sony. Therefore it only makes sense for the company to invest in this field. For the sake of this article I see blockchain as a good investment.
Potential blockchain usage in PlayStation 5
Sony renewed a patent earlier this year. The company is investigating the possibility for users to give, sell or trade digital games. The patent stated: “At a later date, the user (e.g., owner) is free to give away, sell or trade the digital copy to another party in transaction with terms based on, for example, the determined value of the digital copy”.
In addition the company has been thinking about linking a Disc ID to a Player ID. As a result the concept of ‘borrowing a game from a friend’ won’t be possible. To do this, players would need to transfer a license. Yes, this sound a lot like a non-fungible token on the blockchain.
In April they even registered a patent for ‘Blockchain-based Digital Rights Management’. Both Sony Corporation and Sony Pictures Entertainment registered the patent. The Japanese tech giant didn’t confirm these patents to be part of the PS5 (yet).
Facts about the PS5
Sony Interactive Entertainment will release more details about the PlayStation 5 in the coming year. Wired already published a first preview about the system. The SSD drive will benefit loading times for players, will it also makes game development a lot easier. System architect Mark Cerny even confirmed that ray-tracing will be possible in the GPU hardware, so it won’t be a software solution.
PlayStation 5 will get new controllers that include haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. On top of that the speakers on the controllers will be improved. Haptic feedback replaces the existing DualShock technology. As a result players will get a different sensation from the controller when making a tackle on the football pitch, compared with driving a car over a rocky road.
The earlier mentioned adaptive triggers also allow more immersion from the player. Developers can program the L2 and R2 triggers to provide resistance when pushed. Therefore players can feel it’s difficult to open a door or string a bow.
Blockchain games on PlayStation
Even though games like Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty don’t use any blockchain technology yet, it’s likely they will in the future. Maybe we will see this happening more on the PlayStation 5. However, on the PlayStation 4 we already see early developments into this direction. Plague Hunters and Cooking Mama are games that use blockchain technology on the PS4.
Also published on Medium.