Sony Interactive Entertainment has apparently been working on an online tournament system which will be using the PlayStation Network to track games and players in real time on PlayStation 5.
According to a new patent published last week, the proposed online tournament integration will allow both developers and players, as well as third-party organizers, to host tournaments in separate capacities.
Sony has particularly focused on a wide range of tools to give any player the freedom to host a small tournament for a single game with friends and family. The same tools can however be also used to scale up for a large tournament with numerous participants, multiple games, and a custom set of rules.
There are already a number of premium and free tournament organizers available online. The one proposed by Sony actually integrates a number of parameters directly into the PlayStation Network for real-time data and gameplay tracking.
Hence, for example, the process of seeding and bracketing will be conducted on an automated basis. PlayStation Network will automatically detect when players win their tournament matches on PlayStation 5 and advance them in their groups.
The level of competition can be decided beforehand and invitations will be sent out to only players who have the necessary skill, which may be determined from the games they play on PlayStation 5. In similar fashion, the same integrated system can send out streaming links for ongoing tournaments.
The patent furthermore mentions a “gaming network platform” where players will need to have an account in order to register for online tournaments. This is possibly the PlayStation Network since Sony wants to access user details for “recruiting and invitations, team-building, notifications, reminders, match scheduling, updated brackets, real-time reporting.”
There also stands the possibility that Sony has a vested interest in creating a brand new platform to focus on esports alone.
Take note that Sony moved to acquire the Evolution Championship Series (Evo) a few months back. Evo has for long been recognized as the largest fighting game tournament platform, and which will now be operated by Sony as part of a joint venture.
The timing of the patented online tournament system is hence interesting. With Evo 2020 scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Evo 2021 will be taking place next month. Whether Sony will be deploying its new online tournament integration for PlayStation 5 remains to be seen.