Sony PlayStation 5 purported to support cross-platform game play and digital in-game trading

The PlayStation 5 might allow for cross-platform gaming and digital trading of in-game items. (Source: Dailystar)
The PlayStation 5 might allow for cross-platform gaming and digital trading of in-game items. (Source: Dailystar)
Patents filed by Sony describing cross-platform play and digital in-game trading have surfaced leading to speculation that the upcoming PlayStation 5 console could possibly support these features. Details of how Sony would be implementing them is still unclear but the company could leverage its existing PlayStation Now service to enable these features with the support of developers.

One of the hallmark features of the Xbox One is that it allows cross-platform play between console and PC via the Play Anywhere feature. Many games also support cross-platform play between the Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, Mac, iOS, and Android. However, cross-platform play between the PlayStation 4 an the Xbox One has remained a pipe dream except for few titles such as Fortnite and Rocket League.

That might change with the upcoming PlayStation 5 (or whatever it's called eventually). A couple of patents filed by Sony Interactive Entertainment America LLC with the USPTO have surfaced for features titled, "Cloud gaming device handover" and "Tangible tradable collectibles having a digital copy" indicating that Sony is indeed working on cross-platform play and digital item trading.

The patent about digital trading illustrates an example of unlocking spaceships in a game, upgrading them as desired, and trading them with other players. We've seen such digital trade-ins on the PC via Steam so it is good to have it on consoles as well. There isn't much detail available yet about the specifics of how it works but in all probability, it will require an opt-in from developers. 

The other patent about cross-platform play describes about how the primary client device that is streaming games from the cloud is provided handover attributes for the secondary device during gameplay. Once the secondary device is selected, the streaming to the primary device is stopped and the exact state of the game is passed on to the secondary device for continuation.

It is to be noted that the patents do not explicitly mention 'PS5' or 'PlayStation 5' anywhere but there is every possibility that we might see these features debut in the upcoming Sony console. It will be interesting to see how Sony implements cloud-based cross-platform play in comparison to the likes of Microsoft and now, Google. Additionally, we've also seen indications of Sony looking to implement backwards compatibility with older PlayStation titles. This could have some effect on studios that rehash their releases for every console generation, but it also implies that the PlayStation 5 could launch with a larger catalog of first-party titles on day one.

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2019-03-29 (Update: 2019-03-29)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.