Sony has confirmed that its new controversial "digital collectible" rewards, PlayStation Stars, will begin to roll out later this month.
The announcement was made during Sony's most recent State of Play (opens in new tab) event, where the company confirmed that a number of Asian regions will be the first to gain access to PlayStation Stars in late September. It will then arrive in the US and Europe in the weeks following and only be available through the PlayStation App on iOS and Android before then coming to PS5 and PS4 consoles at a later time.
The "free-to-join" programme will allow anyone to earn points that equate to real cash value. This can be done by playing games, winning tournaments or being the first person to earn a Platinum Trophy in your timezone. Sony has heavily urged that these as not related to NFTs, even if public opinion has differed.
Players will also be able to collect virtual figures of famous PlayStation mascots and hardware, such as Punto the gondolier from Ape Escape 2, Polygon Man, Toro and Kuro as well as a PlayStation 3 console and a PocketStation device. It's not clear whether the points can be exchanged for the virtual figures, however, it was suggested that they might be used to help get discounts on games via the PSN store.
A first-look video for PlayStation Stars can be seen below:
"The campaigns in PlayStation Stars will be fun, delightful, and yes, sometimes challenging to complete, said PlayStation Network vice president Grace Chen (via a blog post (opens in new tab)).
"A campaign may be a point-earning or collectible-earning activity. One of our first campaigns is “Hit Play/1994,” where members who correctly launch games that match song-based clues receive a special collectible. More campaign details to come."
Chen previously told The Washington Post (opens in new tab) that the PlayStation Stars programme is "definitely not" NFT-related: "You can't trade them or sell them. It is not leveraging any blockchain technologies and definitely not NFTs."
It's fair to say that we're a little sceptical about PlayStation Stars at this time, so we will have to wait for more information over the coming weeks.
Sony also revealed a new thrilling trailer for God of War Ragnarok that sees Kratos go head-to-head with Thor, alongside the announcement that an enhanced edition of Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge is coming to PSVR 2