Sony Interactive Entertainment has filed a patent for a platform that would allow users to bet on Esports using not only physical currency, but also Bitcoin, or even in-game items.
According to a listing on PatentScope, the company initially filed the patent in 2019 but has only published it this month. The patent itself proposes a system where viewers of live-streamed Esports events, would be able to bet on the outcome of the matches in real-time. The system would work via a user interface overlay that could be brought up over the stream allowing for the users to place their bets.
Bets placed can seemingly come in various forms, with the patent mentioning that “Wagers may be pecuniary, e.g., money or bitcoin, or may be non-pecuniary, e.g., game assets, digital rights, and virtual currency.” This implies that players can earn and then bet in-game currency, or even in-game items using the system. It’s also probable that wagering “digital rights” could refer to bets using NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in games.
Odds for those wagers would be calculated using machine learning, based on either the play history of the competing players or their performance in the current match. The patent is not exclusively focused on PlayStation, as it also references “game consoles such as Sony PlayStation or a game console made by Microsoft or Nintendo or other manufacturers virtual reality (VR) headsets, augmented reality (AR) headsets, portable televisions (e.g. smart TVs, Internet-enabled TVs), portable computers such as laptops and tablet computers, and other mobile devices including smartphones”. This suggests that if the service does become real, it could be available on multiple platforms beyond PlayStation.
Sony seems to have been busy filing patents recently, with the company also planning a help system for struggling players, as well as a system that could allow older games to be emulated with trophy support.
It is worth keeping in mind that game companies file patents regularly, but many of them never amount to anything. However, with PlayStation 5 console shortages set to continue into 2022, Sony might well be looking into new ways to bring fans into the Esports community.
Words by Denitsa Gencheva
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