Sony just filed a patent for a betting service that would enable e-sports gambling using Bitcoin on the company’s PlayStation gaming platform. Presumably, the platform would allow e-sports gamers and spectators to place wagers on possible outcomes of e-sports events, using various forms of currency or even in-game currency and items. Sound sgreat, but what are the odds?
The story was initially reported by IGN, whose article links to Sony’s patent documents on PatentScope, the internet’s search engine for patent documentation. Apparently, Sony filed the patent in 2019 but hasn’t published it since, for undisclosed reasons. Regardless, the documents suggest a betting system centered around live-streaming e-sports events, which would allow users to bet on the outcome of specific matches, and/or rounds, deaths of characters, etc. Basically, it would allow you to bet on all gaming-related things using several forms of currency, including Bitcoin.
Interestingly enough, the patent isn’t exclusive to the PlayStation gaming console, which could signal the end of the exclusive-only era for the PlayStation. Instead, the document references Sony’s console and other gaming consoles made by different manufacturers, including VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) headsets, Smart- and internet-enabled TVs, PCs, laptops, tablets, and even smartphones. In summary, every piece of tech we use for entertainment. Between the variety of tech options and payment options like Bitcoin, the gambling set up is full of options. Sounds great, right?
Well, Sony’s decision to make the platform non-exclusive to PlayStation stems from a brilliant business move, rather than the goodness of their hearts. A few months ago, Sony bought Evolution Championship, the world’s largest fighting game tournament, stating that their ownership won’t affect Evo’s ability to include non-PlayStation games. And this is where the company’s true brilliance lies. Instead of focusing on the exclusives in their team, Sony bought the entire playground worth of players, allowing the audience to bet on the matches it organizes.
By introducing a gambling platform for e-sports events, Sony is basically creating a demand for a supply it already secured (their acquisition of Evo), providing its gambling-loving audience with some risky entertainment beyond the thrills of regular gaming. According to the patent document, the users could bet using different currencies, including physical money, Bitcoin, in-game currency and assets, digital rights (to NFTs), and other forms of value.
Presumably, the platform would work via UI overlay that could be brought up over the stream to place a bet using Bitcoin or other currencies. Odds for particular bets would be determined by machine learning, based on different factors, like competing players’ play history or performance in current matches. With everything said, the patent document states that the present principles only reference to some examples of embodiment, which aren’t intended to be limiting in any way, meaning that the project is still in its developmental phase.
As such, any descriptions we provided in our article are subject to change and alternative arrangements by the patent holder. Still, if you’re an e-sports fan with an affinity for gambling, you’ll love Sony’s new gambling platform. All you need is a few Bitcoins, maybe some in-game gold, a legendary-rank in-game item to place a bet, and possibly win a prize. Depending on the odds, that is.