If we are being honest, it is pretty rare that the words ‘Sony’ and ‘esports’ ever get mentioned together in the same sentence.
Maybe we’re just showing our PC gaming bias here, but it is a lot harder to find any real competitive gaming that isn’t made better by playing on the PC.
Sony have had a tumultuous few months and the issues surrounding the availability of the PS5 and their claims about shutting down purchasing for the PS Vita and PS3 digital storefronts have not made the situation any better. However, a new patent from Sony could change the way that we watch esports games in the future.
According to Sony, esports are getting boring. A new fan might check out their favourite game on Twitch to see some competitive play but could be turned off if the perspective that is being broadcast is uninteresting or does not fit their idea of an esports match.
To combat this issue, Sony has filed a patent that would allow viewers to take control of their own personal stream and select whatever viewpoint they want using some basic commands and controls. If you are a fan of a single player and only want to watch what they are doing for the entire match, go ahead.
According to the patent filing, this is a response to the lack of live events during the pandemic. The extra control that would be provided from this new tech could give viewers missing the feeling of in-person, live events an extra incentive to keep watching esports.
Obviously, this would be great to combat dull stretches of esports events, but it could also become a new and useful way to improve esports betting. You can always bet on the outcome of games, but if you want to get a bit more granular and bet on something list first blood in League of Legends, it would be useful to keep an eye on the players that tend to go for the early kills. If you have a greater ability to analyse their play, you could use that knowledge on your future bets.
Sony have partnered with the British esports organisation EXCEL ESPORTS. Sony will become the official smartphone supplier for its Fortnite division. As part of their collaboration, the two organisations will work together to create educational content pieces and host giveaways. It’s rare to see Sony entering the esports market outside of their flagship consoles. They don’t have much of a userbase in the world of smartphone, but they could easily position themselves as the frontrunners in the mobile gaming world.
Outside of the esports arena, Sony have been dealing with the backlash to their announcement that they would be shutting down the digital storefronts for the PS Vita and the PS3. For anyone interested in gaming history or the archival of old games this would be a major blow to their collections.
After the response to their announcement, Sony has backtracked on their plans. In a post on their blog yesterday, Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment wrote:
“Upon further reflection, however, it’s clear that we made the wrong decision here. So today I’m happy to say that we will be keeping the PlayStation Store operational for PS3 and PS Vita devices. PSP commerce functionality will retire on July 2, 2021 as planned.
“When we initially came to the decision to end purchasing support for PS3 and PS Vita, it was born out of a number of factors, including commerce support challenges for older devices and the ability for us to focus more of our resources on newer devices where a majority of our gamers are playing on. We see now that many of you are incredibly passionate about being able to continue purchasing classic games on PS3 and PS Vita for the foreseeable future, so I’m glad we were able to find a solution to continue operations.”
Sony have been focused on trimming the fat in their gaming division, but it is clear that they simply need to realise what gamers want and need. Their recent patent and choice to keep the older storefronts show that they are willing to maintain their focus on the core gaming audience.