Sony Patent May Allow Digital Trade-Ins and Gifting Through PSN

Will We Resell Digital Games?

Compared to other digital distribution platforms, Sony’s PSN is a bit behind in accessibility, security, and ownership. With a physical game copy, at least, a player can trade at GameStop for another product, while on Steam and the Xbox Marketplace, users have that essential refund option. If a new patent is any indication, however, Sony may offer both options to PlayStation users.


The patent filed identifies a system for digital trade-ins and gifting. There’s a possibility that PSN will offer players the option to make a purchase on behalf of other players. In addition, the “owner” of the digital property can sell or trade any purchase. The patent’s abstract is available down below (Thanks, GamingBolt).

“Tradable physical collectible objects are described. In particular, systems and methods for using the tradable physical collectible objects facilitate generation of a digital copy that can be used within a network game,” the Sony patent reads. “A user can use the digital copy and perform various modifications to the digital copy. A value can be determined for the digital copy based on the various modifications. At a later date, the user (e.g., owner) is free to give away, sell or trade the digital copy to another party in transaction with terms based on, for example, the determined value of the digital copy.”

Keep in mind that companies file patents all the time, and a record of the filling doesn’t imply its future implementation. Sony may have simply secured a future monetization scheme, should any digital platform implement the trade-in method. Of course, with the threat of Google Stadia, Apple, and Microsoft platforms on the rise, Sony may have no choice but to become more proactive with PSN and the PlayStation brand. We still don’t know what new features will march in tandem with the arrival of PlayStation 5. What do you think?

Do you believe PlayStation will make use of digital trade-ins in the future? Comment down below.