Something to look forward to: Sony has announced the upcoming launch of what sounds like its own version of Microsoft's rewards program, one that includes "digital collectibles" it assures people are not NFTs. The PlayStation Stars loyalty program will arrive later this year, at which point users can earn points by playing games and other activities. These can then be redeemed for PS Store products and PSN wallet funds.

Microsoft's rewards program remains popular among users, letting them earn redeemable points through activities such as using Edge/Bing, taking part in quizzes, and playing titles via PC Game Pass---read more about that here.

Sony's PlayStation Stars appears to imitate some of the game-based elements of Microsoft's program. Membership will be free when it launches later this year, and users will be able to earn points through various activities, including playing at least one game once per month, winning tournaments, earning specific trophies, or even being the first person to play a major game release in a particular time zone. Moreover, PlayStation Plus subscribers will also be able to earn points for purchases on the PlayStation Store.

The accrued points can be spent on PS Store products as well as PSN wallet funds for buying games and other items. Sony notes that PlayStation Stars is a separate program from Sony Rewards and won't be replacing it.

Another part of the program has been raising some eyebrows: digital collectibles. As per Sony's description, these are "digital representations of things that PlayStation fans enjoy, including figurines of beloved and iconic characters from games and other forms of entertainment."

"There will always be a new collectible to earn, an ultra rare collectible to strive for, or something surprising to collect just for fun," continues the official announcement.

While that all sounds suspiciously like NFTs, Sony VP Grace Chen, in an interview with The Washington Post, repeatedly stressed this wasn't the case.

"It's definitely not NFTs. Definitely not. You can't trade them or sell them. It is not leveraging any blockchain technologies and definitely not NFTs," she said.