How about a bit of controversy to kickstart your glib Monday morning? Sony patented an eSports betting system for its consoles a couple of years ago, with the documentation outlining a framework whereby odds would be calculated by a player (or team’s) historical performance, allowing users to then bet on their favourites in a variety of ways.
The papers outline a number of hypothetical examples, with in-play options like “character A gets hit in the next minute”. The idea is that the system is constantly calculating new odds for you to bet on even while matches are taking place, similar to what a lot of betting apps do for real sports these days.
Sony is all-in on eSports at the moment – it’s quietly conducting an outrageously popular Competition Centre across a catalogue of different titles, and recently acquired flagship fighting game tournament Evo – so it’s not overly surprising that it’s exploring this kind of idea. We’re not sure if gambling being baked into its consoles would fly, however – especially in a mainstream product like the PlayStation 5 and PS4.
Frankly, it’s no surprise companies are considering concepts like this – it does feel like the natural next step for competitive gaming – but we’d honestly be shocked if anything like it ever actually rolled out. It’s always worth remembering that just because a patent exists it doesn’t mean the idea is actively in development – although clearly it’s something that’s been bouncing around Sony boardrooms at some point.