Entertainment and electronics giant Sony has recently completed the acquisition of Beyond Sports, a company specializing in using real-world data to produce 3D animation. With this purchase, the company is now reportedly able to offer a full metaverse experience for sports matches, complete with tech from other companies already in its portfolio.
Sony’s Beyond Sports Purchase Gets It Closer to the Sports Metaverse
Sony is now making a foray into the sports metaverse world. The company recently closed the acquisition of Beyond Sports, a 3D imaging and animation company that possesses tech to transform real information from a sports match into a metaverse representation. Numbers for the acquisition were not released, but are believed to be as high as $70 million dollars, according to Nikkei estimations.
This purchase, along with the technology of Hawk-Eye Innovations — another company owned by the conglomerate — will allow the company to produce, in real-time, content relating to basketball, baseball, tennis, and football matches. Hawk-Eye Innovations, acquired back in 2011, produces tech that allows pinpointing the position of the ball any time, and has been used by organizations like the National Football League (NFL) and National Hockey League (NHL).
Combining these two might allow Sony to create a digital, accurate representation of a field or a court, featuring realistic ball and player movement.
The Virtual Sports Market
Another company owned by Sony could fill the distribution gap to bring these experiences to audiences. Pulselive, a company that operates several sites for sports teams and organizations, would be able to include these metaverse experiences on these sites, creating a new line of revenue and taking a shot at popularizing this new take on 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, that is confirmed to be set for release in February 2023, and 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 of tracking the history and ownership of in-game assets. Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida has also stated before that Sony’s “first priority is to create a metaverse around entertainment,” using all of the tools that the brand has for this purpose.