Business Insider sources say that Sony wants to boost the number of free-to-play games available to play on PlayStation.
If developers are able to monetise their content via advertising, as well as the more traditional micro-transactions, Sony reportedly believes more of them would be inclined to offer free-to-play access.
The prospective system, which the report says is still in a ‘testing the waters’ phase, could reward players for watching ads and promotional content. That could mean in-game skins for their character, for example. Like Microsoft, the ads could be unobtrusive and displayed on billboards that would naturally be shown within the game, for instance, at sporting events.
While both companies are reportedly planning to keep gamers’ personal information and data out of any negotiations with ad companies, there may be differences to the approach.
One key difference between Microsoft and Sony’s propositions could be the revenue sharing element. Last week’s report says Microsoft wasn’t looking to take a cut of the revenue, but Sony is reportedly still weighing up whether to do so.
Responses from hardcore console gamers are unlikely to be too positive, given recent history. EA Sports tried to sneak ads into its UFC 4 game a couple of years ago and were forced into a takedown by fans who’d paid for the game. As these would be free-to-play offerings, it’s unclear whether gamers would be more tolerant of the ads incursion.
Would you be willing to put up with a few in-game ads to have access to more free-to-play games on the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X? Or have you had quite enough of commercials ruining your mobile gaming experiences? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.