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Sony’s New Loyalty Program Offers ‘Digital Collectibles’

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(Photo: Tamara Bitter/Unsplash)
Sony is introducing a new loyalty program that rewards PlayStation users for everything from purchases to gameplay.

The program is called PlayStation Stars, and it’ll be completely free to join, according to an announcement from Thursday. When PlayStation Stars launches later this year, it’ll allow participating users to collect loyalty points. Users will earn these points by performing monthly check-ins, completing in-game activities, and winning tournaments, among other predetermined tasks. They’ll then be able to redeem points for items in the PlayStation Stars catalog, which Sony says may include PlayStation Network wallet funds and some PlayStation Store products.

PlayStation Stars will also promote a number of “digital collectibles.” These, despite how they may sound, are “definitely not NFTs”—something our colleagues over at IGN had to clarify following the program’s announcement. Beyond confirming that the collectibles have nothing to do with the blockchain, however, Sony kept its description of this category pretty vague. The announcement says they’ll be “digital representations of things that PlayStation fans enjoy, including figurines of beloved and iconic characters from games and other forms of entertainment.” These seem most comparable with Steam’s trading cards, which are earned in-game and can be collected to create profile badges. That being said, Sony hasn’t said how users will obtain its digital collectibles; whether it’ll be in-game or someplace else is yet to be revealed.

Like the Xbox and Steam with their respective achievements, PlayStation already has trophies, which are made to celebrate in-game milestones. But trophies don’t do anything beyond serving as a sort of online status symbol or progress tracker; they can’t be exchanged for games or PlayStation Plus credits, as the announcement suggests PlayStation Stars points will. PlayStation Stars appears to be designed to compete with Microsoft Rewards, which are earned on Xbox and other Microsoft products, as well as Steam Points, which are earned with every Steam purchase. Both Microsoft and Steam allow users to exchange loyalty points for rewards, though Steam’s rewards aim toward the aesthetic with wallpapers, avatars, or virtual keyboards for the Steam Deck.

PlayStation Stars’ launch date is under wraps, though we know it’ll be ready by the end of 2022. Whether to hold off on buying new titles in favor of earning Stars points is up to individual users, though some might get lucky: Sony says it’s planning phased rollouts of the program in undisclosed regions.

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