As companies look to do more in digital markets and industry veterans are continuing to invest in NFT and crypto nonsense, it feels like some companies need to introduce new things while making sure it doesn’t reek of blockchain and all its baggage. That was one question on people’s mind when Sony introduced its new PlayStation Stars loyalty program, which the company has confirmed: nothing you get from PlayStation Stars will be an NFT or use any kind of blockchain technology.
The new program was announced this morning on the PlayStation Blog, where Sony Network Advertising, Loyalty & Licensed Merchandise VP Grace Chen introduced PlayStation Stars as a free loyalty membership where you’ll earn points just by playing games on PlayStation. You can gather these points by beating games, winning online tournaments, and collecting certain trophies. One hypothetical unlock mentioned is being the first person to get a Platinum Trophy (which is obtained by getting every other trophy in the game) in your local time zone, and it seems like that heavily favors people with early access to games, such as reviewers or content creators. So hopefully that doesn’t become a standard means of earning points.
These points can be redeemed for PlayStation Store wallet funds, as well as going toward games wholesale. PlayStation Plus members also automatically earn points for PlayStation Store purchases, though the broader PlayStation Stars membership will be free of charge. Just how far back this compatibility goes is unclear at this point, as the PlayStation Blog doesn’t mention whether it PlayStation Stars will only be applicable to older systems. In theory, PlayStation’s online ecosystem goes as far back as PlayStation 3 and Vita, and it’s unclear at this point if getting trophies on those devices will also play into your PlayStation Stars membership, or if it might be limited to PS4 and PS5, which Sony is still actively supporting.
More stars on PlayStation:
On top of all this, Sony says it will be offering a type of reward it calls “digital collectibles,” with some examples including figurines of PlayStation characters, or devices that “tap into Sony’s history of innovation.” That’s as specific as it gets, but for anyone who is aware of NFTs, the notion of a digital collectible may seem like an immediate red flag right now. However, in an interview with The Washington Post, Chen clarified that none of these digital rewards will be using blockchain technology.
“It’s definitely not NFTs. Definitely not,” Chen told the Post. “You can’t trade them or sell them. It is not leveraging any blockchain technologies and definitely not NFTs.”
As of this writing, Sony hasn’t announced when PlayStation Stars will be up and running. With this, all three console manufacturers have some kind of loyalty problem, as My Nintendo and Microsoft Rewards give similar deals and collectibles to those who invest money and time into their games.