Just this past March, Sony Interactive Entertainment took a notable stake in the e-sports scene by acquiring part-ownership of the EVO Championship Series. This annual fighting game tournament is one of the pillars of pro gaming, and Sony’s PlayStation consoles have had good mileage of use and presentation here. In fact, other videogame console manufacturers have worried that Sony’s part-ownership could push EVO to remove non-PS systems from the event, though this has been refuted by EVO higher-ups. Still, one cannot help but wonder now, considering word has gone out that Sony has long patented an online game tournament system.
According to IGN, Sony Interactive Entertainment filed a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office back in 2018 about a method of tournament gaming integration that promises the ability to create online gaming competitions no matter the scale, to anyone from videogame developers, third-party organizations like the founders of EVO, and even among a game’s players themselves. The patent mentions “a plurality of game titles each associated with at least one tournament may be hosted on a gaming network platform.” Of course, to facilitate such online integration, those involved must use certain game systems, perhaps Sony’s own PlayStation series.
This particular detail, added to the patent as of this past week, is reinforced by the Sony patent talking of a “gaming network platform,” upon which those looking to join or organize an online game tournament using this integrated system would first have to register accounts for. No names were given, but the registration requirement sounds similar to the existing PlayStation Network (PSN). Now, the PSN at current only handles online purchases, media streaming, social features and cloud gaming, but there is a possibility that it could be repurposed; or maybe Sony can create this new service from whole cloth.
It is interesting to note that Sony added new information to this 3-year-old patent application in the wake of their becoming joint owner of the EVO Championship Series about four months ago. With the announcement that EVO 2021 next month is going to be a digital event, one cannot help but think that this talk of Sony working on an online game tournament system could tie in. Of course, no concrete work on the patent has been shown yet, but the Japanese gaming giant can be perceived as “flexing,” especially as all games to be contested by participants in EVO this year are available or exclusive to the PlayStation series.
Image courtesy of PlayStation Universe