Rifling through publicly available patents is a strange pastime, but it's one that observant industry-watchers seem to be into. Last we heard, Sony had patented a system to help people's posture during play, and now we're onto another one — only this one may leave a sour taste.
As you can see here, Sony has filed a patent for an NFT framework, allowing the exchange of non-fungible tokens across game systems.
To recap, NFTs are digital goods stored in a blockchain that prove ownership with a unique identifying receipt, theoretically allowing you to own intangible items in the same way you own physical products. While this technology has been widely criticised, some large companies have been exploring NFTs as a potential new revenue stream, though most attempts have fallen flat at this point. Anyone remember Ubisoft Quartz?
This patented system from Sony essentially would allow you to transfer your NFTs from one game or system to another and continue using it there. Additionally, there's the potential to trade or sell the rights to your NFTs to other players, and apparently, forgery is "nearly impossible owing to the use of blockchain technology".
It must be noted that a lot of patents like this never end up being developed into a final product or service, so we wouldn't raise the alarm just yet. Odds are most corporations are covering their bases in a similar way, and besides, Sony will be fully aware of the terrible reputation NFTs have. We remember PlayStation having to make a point of saying its PS Stars digital collectables aren't NFTs. We'll see what happens, anyway!