A new patent from Sony suggests the company will be offering PlayStation refunds along with digital gifting. The features are likely to arrive on PS5 come its 2020 release window. PS5 video game gifts are going to be similar to Steam and other online platforms available to gamers.
Before today, Steam and Xbox were ahead of Sony when it came to digital ownership and security, for example, offering refunds and digital gifting. Steam and Xbox get an instant win there. Both of them offer refunds along with digital gifting as well. However, Sony and PlayStation do not but that may change with PS5 thanks to its reportedly impressive list of features.
Keep in mind that while this feature may kick off with PS5, it is going to be a PlayStation Store and PlayStation Network bound feature. Gifts and refunds will not only be available on PS5 but also on PS4 and quite possibly PS3 if the console isn’t discontinued by then. This patent will allow Sony to implement a method of digital gifting, as well as digital trade-ins but how exactly? Digital trade-in feature needs to be elaborated but gifts system is pretty straight forward.
All digital platforms are offering options to gift these days, so the feature is standard now. Trade-ins are a bit different—digital software cannot be “traded in”. Physical media such as discs can be traded-in directly but digital media cannot.
This new patent suggests that Sony is exploring ways where digital media on the PlayStation can too be traded in. PlayStation Store and Network needs to evolve with new features and this seems like the right point to start.
You can somewhat understand it by reading the patent’s abstract, which is as follows:
Tradable physical collectible objects are described. In particular, systems and methods for using the tradable physical collectible objects facilitate generation of a digital copy that can be used within a network game. A user can use the digital copy and perform various modifications to the digital copy. A value can be determined for the digital copy based on the various modifications. At a later date, the user (e.g., owner) is free to give away, sell or trade the digital copy to another party in transaction with terms based on, for example, the determined value of the digital copy.
A few days ago, we learned that Sony secured another patent with the title “Backward compatibility by algorithm matching, disabling features, or throttling performance”.
That patent showed the workings of a system that allows the CPU (of the new PlayStation 5?) to interpret the workings of the four previous PlayStation systems – PS One, PS2, PS3, and PS4.
Perhaps, we’ll get to see these patents implemented in the new PlayStation 5 sooner than we think. There are multiple reports claiming that Sony PlayStation 5 is going to be present at PlayStation Experience in December 2019.