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Sony is taking its entrance into eSports quite seriously with patents for expansive tournament systems and betting

PlayStation 4's Tournament mode may receive a beefy overhaul on the new console

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • July 14, 2021 at 2:10 p.m. PDT • Comments: 13

Sony threw its hat into the ring of the eSports world earlier this year with the acquisition of the largest fighting game tournament in the world, the Evolution Championship Series, and it appears as though they don't plan on stopping there.

The makers of PlayStation have filed patents that would allow them to create an extensive tournament system on their consoles and maybe beyond as well as features to place real bets on eSports matches.

One the tournaments side of things, Sony's patent may help create an expansive suite of features available to organizers, developers and players that would be more advanced than anything else on the market currently.

Using the proposed system, would allow pretty much anyone to set up and run events seemingly easier than ever before thanks to a bunch of proposed automated features across one game or a multitude of titles.

For example, brackets and tournament seeding could be generated using in-game ranking systems or other parameters set up by organizers with the ability to send out invites to players automatically who meet the criteria for an event.


A diagram of Sony's proposed system to create events

Matches and statistics could be logged and updated in real time to update brackets and standings using data from the game itself without need for players to report results.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect included in the patent is the means to automatically make highlights and start streams of interesting matches / interactions as they happen by way of the systems looking at players and their actions.

The PlayStation 4 has had its own Tournament mode feature for a few years now though it's not obviously nearly as deep in the feature pool as what the patent lists, so these may indicate some of Sony's plans they wish to implement at some point on the PlayStation 5, which currently doesn't have the mode at all.

These tournaments could even expand beyond the PlayStation ecosystem considering it uses the language of "gaming network platform" and not specifically the PlayStation Network while also making mention of PCs and other devices.

Sony also filed a patent in 2019 that was only published last month which would allow viewers of livestreamed eSports events to place bets on matches in real time using real money, virtual currency like Bitcoin or even in-game content / digital rights.

Odds for wagers placed would be calculated using machine learning based on data of the history of the players involved and their current performances.

This is not a guarantee that all or any of these features / systems will ever see the light of day for consumers since they do still remain only patents though they do point to Sony's continued interest in getting further involved with eSports and competitive gaming.

If these tournament features do end up becoming a reality, however, it will almost certainly have an impact on the competitive fighting game landscape and how events are organized in general.

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