Sony is launching a new game loyalty program called PlayStation Stars, which will reward gamers for spending time on their PlayStation consoles.
Launching to PS4 and PS5 users worldwide later this year, the free program will allow you to earn a variety of rewards for completing specific ‘campaigns’ and as outlined by Sony in a blog post (opens in new tab)these will vary considerably in scope.
Monthly ‘Check-in’ campaigns will simply require you to play any game on a PlayStation console, while others will require you to earn specific trophies or even become the first player in your time zone to platinum a specific game.
By completing these activities, you will earn loyalty points that can be redeemed for a variety of goodies. This includes PSN wallet funds that you can use to purchase games and select items from the PS Store. PS Plus members will also automatically earn additional loyalty points, encouraging you to sign up for Sony’s renewed subscription service.
Players will also be able to earn ‘digital collectibles’, which Sony describes as “digital representations of things PlayStation fans enjoy, including figures of beloved and iconic characters from games and other forms of entertainment, as well as beloved devices that explore Sony’s history of innovation”.
He adds, “There will always be a new collectible to win, an ultra-rare collectible to strive for, or something surprising to collect just for fun.”
In an interview with Washington PostSony’s Vice President of Network Advertising, Loyalty and Licensed Goods Grace Chen clarified that the collectibles were not NFTS and did not use blockchain technology.
What is the problem?
Everyone loves freebies, and PlayStation Stars seems like the perfect type of loyalty program: one that fills you with freebies without requiring you to do any extra work. But there are still a lot of details for Sony to clear up.
While the prospect of earning PS Store funds simply by playing the game sounds appealing, don’t expect Sony to be too generous with its flyers. The number of loyalty points needed to redeem a full game will likely be extremely high, making it virtually impossible to get a title for absolutely nothing.
Also, while you can directly exchange loyalty points for PSN wallet funds, there may be some restrictions on which games you can purchase. We wouldn’t go through Sony to stop the latest PS5 releases from being purchased using funds redeemed through loyalty points.
Chen also says that “points can be redeemed in a catalog that could include PSN wallet funds and select PlayStation Store products” (emphasis added). So it looks like the available products will run. You might need to wait a while until you find something you like, and we suspect loyalty points also have an expiration date, leading you to spend them sooner rather than later.
PlayStation Stars sounds very similar to Microsoft Rewards, another loyalty program that allows users to earn freebies for using their Xbox Series X|S and Microsoft apps. We hope it serves a similar function: nice to have, but not groundbreaking.