Entertainment and electronics giant Sony recently completed the acquisition of Beyond Sports, a company that specializes in using real-world data to produce 3D animations. With this purchase, the company would now be able to offer a full metaverse experience for sports matches, with technology from other companies already in its portfolio.
Buying Sony Beyond Sports brings it closer to the sports metaverse
Sony is now making a foray into the world of the sports metaverse. The company recently completed the acquisition of Beyond Sports, a 3D imaging and animation company that owns the technology to transform the actual information of a sports match into a metaverse representation. Acquisition figures have not been released, but are thought to be worth $70 million, according to Nikkei estimates.
This purchase, along with technology from Hawk-Eye Innovations – another company owned by the conglomerate – will enable the company to produce real-time content relating to basketball, baseball, tennis and soccer. Hawk-Eye Innovations, acquired in 2011, produces technology that can locate the position of the ball at any time, and has been used by organizations like the National Football League (NFL) and the National Hockey League (NHL).
The combination of these two elements could allow Sony to create an accurate digital representation of a pitch or pitch, with realistic ball and player movements.
The virtual sports market
Another Sony-owned company could fill the distribution void to bring these experiences to the public. Pulselive, a company that operates multiple sites for sports teams and organizations, would be able to include these metaverse experiences on those sites, creating a new revenue stream and trying to popularize this new approach to sports.
Sony may also be able to offer metaverse matches using its line of Playstation consoles as a distribution device. The company is developing a virtual reality (VR) headset exclusively for its console, dubbed Playstation VR 2, which is confirmed to be released in February 2023, and which could be used to enjoy these metaverse experiences in an immersive way.
Sony has already flirted with metaverse and NFT (non-fungible token) technology, filing a set of patents to use NFTs as a way to track the history and ownership of game assets. Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida has also previously stated that Sony’s “first priority is to create a metaverse around entertainment”, using all the tools the brand has for this purpose.
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