We already know that within the esports ecosystem, Sony is a major player. Their PlayStation console is one of the most popular ways for people to engage with a number of esports titles, such as Overwatch, Call of Duty, Rocket League, FIFA, and more.
However, Sony could well be about to make another major move into the industry after it was announced that the company had filed a patent for a betting service that will allow them to accept esports betting using standard currency, bitcoin, or even items that a player has been awarded in-game.
What is the New Sony Patent?
The new patent, which was originally filed back in 2019 but only saw details published this month, suggests that Sony has developed, or is looking to develop a betting system which can be used in real time on live-streamed esports events.
The system would overlay the different betting options on the screen over the live stream and allow viewers to place bets on the outcome of the match.
The most exciting part of the new patent is that bets could be made using a number of different means. Standard means, such as using currency or cryptocurrency are obvious, but esports punters will also be interested to hear that Sony is considering allowing punters to bet with “non-pecuniary” assets.
This could include items earned in the game, digital rights, and virtual currency.
In particular, the ability to bet using ‘digital rights’ does seem to suggest that Sony is considering allowing betting using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in games.
How will Odds be calculated?
One of the trickiest aspects of any new betting product based on live esports action is how the odds are calculated. Sony’s patent says that machine learning would determine the odds based on a number of different factors.
This will include the performance history of the players competing in the game, or based on their performance in the current match.
Will the new service only be available on Sony products?
It seems not. While Sony does state that their service will be available on PlayStation, it was also noted that the patent also said that the service could be rolled out across other consoles from Microsoft or Nintendo, as well as computers, televisions, and mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
This does seem to point towards any new service from Sony being widely available across as many different forms of gaming and communication devices as possible, which would of course give the new product the broadest reach within the esports community.
When will Sony’s new product see the light of day?
In truth, there is no release date confirmed for the new Sony product. The company has filed a lot of patents recently and games companies do file patents all the time and not all of them amount to a finished product at the end of the process.
However, after recently purchasing Evo, the largest fighting game tournament in the world today, it may well be that Sony is planning to develop their new betting system in conjunction with that.
Having been beset with issues over the launch of its PlayStation 5 console, which will still see a shortage of the console continuing through to 2022, Sony needs to win over many customers.
A new esports betting service, which offers In-Play betting tips, odds, and up to the minute markets on live esports, would be a good start.