Is this a compliment or a jab?!
The drama surrounding Microsoft’s plan to purchase Activision-Blizzard continues, with the biggest pushback coming from none other than Sony. The house of PlayStation is very much against the idea of Microsoft picking up Activision-Blizzard, and it’s all because of the Call of Duty brand.
Sony has made it clear numerous times that they don’t just want, but need the Call of Duty franchise. Microsoft has countered by saying PlayStation fans will still be able to enjoy Call of Duty, most recently offering Sony 10 years worth of Call of Duty games, but that’s not good enough for Sony. They want to stop the Activision-Blizzard acquisition altogether.
Most recently, the UK Competition and Markets Authority said they were doing a deep investigation into the proposed acquisition. That was met with a 22-page response from Sony, who is once again saying that this deal going through would be catastrophic to the PlayStation ecosystem.
In one portion of the response, Sony says that should the deal go through, it would result in a PlayStation that is more like Nintendo. That might sound like a compliment at first, but as you can see in the statement below, it’s meant to convey a dire future for Sony.
“Microsoft claims that Nintendo’s differentiated model demonstrates that PlayStation doesn’t need Call of Duty to compete effectively. But this reveals Microsoft’s true strategy. Microsoft wants PlayStation to become like Nintendo, so that it would be a less close and effective competitor to Xbox. Post-Transaction, Xbox would become the one-stop-shop for all the best-selling shooter franchises on console (Call of Duty, Halo, Gears of War, + Doom, Overwatch), as the Decision explains, and it would then be free from serious competitive pressure.”
In other words, Sony thinks Nintendo isn’t a competitor to either Microsoft and Sony…or at least not a close one. Obviously this is a silly statement to make, as all three companies are selling videogame hardware and software to consumers. Any content in that market has to vie for attention from other releases. It’s even tougher for Sony to argue that Call of Duty is essential to their survival when Nintendo is leading the pack with Switch, and Call of Duty is yet to grace the platform.
Even Microsoft pointed out some flaws in Sony’s argument. Microsoft said that Sony might think Nintendo’s hardware is aimed at a different part of the market, but that just shows Sony’s ignorance (perhaps willfully) of what’s available on the Switch. You can see our recap of Microsoft’s comments on this matter here.
The horror. Sony might actually remember they're a video game company and not Hollywood. And that just won't do, the True Gamers™ don't like that.
I mean, where will the masturbatory (and totally not bought out) Edge cover proclaiming "THIS IS YOUR NEXT CONSOLE" be for the PS6 if Sony actually has to bother doing something interesting like gimmicky kiddy Nintendo and their cooties, rather than spending all their money on marketing montages in front of some ear-searing dubstep to get that "GAMERS RISE UP" pride rolling?