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PlayStation’s new “digital collectibles” definitely aren’t NFT

in great shape , Sony has taken steps to allay hex-shaped NFT fears about its new “rewards” service.

Sony Interactive Entertainment / Sam Machkovitch

On Thursday, Sony Interactive Entertainment made a surprise announcement about a new service coming to PlayStation consoles. Most of the details about the new “PlayStation Stars” initiative, which resemble the “awards” perks of other gaming services, sound promising, but at Ars Technica, Sony’s choice of the two-word phrase immediately struck fear in our hearts. Spawned: “Digital Collectibles.”

Thankfully, members of the SIE PR team were quick to draw with an emailed reply to allay our fears: No, this is not Sony’s take on NFTs.

“They are not one of a kind”

The new service, which launches “later this year,” will cost nothing to join and will exist outside the PlayStation Plus subscription family. PlayStation Stars, as vaguely described in Sony’s Thursday announcement, revolves around a soup of connected concepts, but on its face, it basically looks like the Microsoft rewards system in the modern Xbox console family. tl; DR Version: Receive digital rewards for playing video games.

PlayStation Stars members can play specific PlayStation console games to complete “campaigns” and “activities,” though Thursday’s announcement only described campaigns. These range from simple tasks like playing a particular game in a given month to more dedicated tasks like collecting game-specific PlayStation trophies or even using a game’s hard-to-obtain “platinum” trophies in a given month. The first is to get the unlock. a time zone. As described, these campaigns can be correlated with games connected to the PlayStation Plus service – just as Microsoft Rewards favors Xbox Game Pass titles.

Should you complete campaigns and activities within PlayStation Stars, you can expect at least two types of “prizes.” The first described today, called “Loyalty Points,” can be spent on a “catalog” of digital offers, and these include credits for PlayStation Network purchases or redemption offers for “selected” PSN products like games . And I already mentioned the second reward type, called digital collectibles, which looked suspiciously like NFTs in Sony’s initial announcement:

They’re digital representations of things that PlayStation fans enjoy, including figurines of beloved and iconic characters from games and other forms of entertainment, as well as cherished devices that tap into Sony’s history of innovation. There will always be a new collectible to earn, an ultra-rare collectible to try, or something surprising to collect just for fun.

In a statement emailed to Ars Technica, SIE Senior Public Relations Manager Aram Jabbari clarified that these are No NFT. “These digital collectibles are made solely for our loyalty program, and while some may be rare, they are not one-of-a-kind, nor [PlayStation Stars] Take advantage of blockchain technology,” writes Jabbari.

Thus, as described, these digital collectibles may resemble a more old-fashioned approach to the gaming world, where cosmetic 3D objects can be displayed after performing something unique or challenging in a video game. , artificial scarcity can be added to the mix without any financial system. PlayStation 5’s pack-in video game Astro’s Playroom A similar system is already included, as the game includes unlockable 3D models of older PlayStation hardware as secret in-game trinkets, no purchase required. (Speaking of PS5: Jabbari declined to clarify whether PlayStation Stars will work across all PlayStation console families or whether it will be locked to the new PlayStation 5 console.)

Should We Expect “DylaNFTs” Soon?

Ars Technica readers may already be familiar with the many, many, many, many, many, many NFT-related pitches from modern gaming companies. (several.)

SIE has cautioned not to suggest that concepts such as NFTs or blockchain-staking are coming to PlayStation consoles or services, yet its parent company Sony has found other ways to invest in concepts. The biggest investment came in the form of a $1 billion investment in Epic Games, which Sony president Kenichiro Yoshida described at the time as “an opportunity to deepen our relationship in the Metaverse region.” The statement also mentioned other initiatives such as digital video production, thus messing up the exact dollar-for-dollar equation of how much Sony is investing in gaming-related blockchain content.

At least one other Sony division has been more daring about engaging directly with NFTs as a commercial concept. In March, Sony Music partnered with Bob Dylan’s son to mint NFTs based on Dylan’s works, although as of press time, the service in question does not suggest that such digital items (DylanFT?) will be available anytime soon. Only going on sale anytime.

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