Recently, Sony raised various concerns with the UK competition authorities regarding the takeover of Activision Blizzard. But the information published by the Japanese giant also indicates that it has also studied the question of making PlayStation Plus available on Xbox.
Would Sony bring PlayStation Plus to Xbox?
Sony has complained about several elements to the CMA, such as the risk that large Activision games will become exclusive to Xbox (Call of Duty) or that Microsoft takes advantage of a dominant position to increase the price of its consoles or services. .
We often hear that Sony has refused the Xbox Game Pass offer to be available on PlayStation, but it seems identical on the other side. In the document written by Sony at the CMA, the Japanese console manufacturer claims that Microsoft does not allow PlayStation Plus to be available on Xbox.
Microsoft argues that the request for multi-game subscription services would not favor Game Pass because Microsoft would also make Game Pass available on PlayStation. But the wider availability of the main leader (Game Pass), now with irreplaceable exclusive content and protected by direct and indirect network effects, would make it harder – not easier – for subscription services to compete.
Microsoft’s position that the availability of Game Pass on PlayStation would be a panacea for the harm caused by this transaction proves particularly hollow given that Microsoft does not allow PlayStation Plus to be available on Xbox.
No one wants a competing service on their platform
We don’t know if Sony would like to see the PlayStation Plus land on Xbox, but the company seems to have studied the question enough to know that Microsoft does not allow it. This situation is rather funny since Microsoft, for its part, had told the CMA that PlayStation had blocked the Xbox Game Pass from its ecosystem.
There’s also no basis for the idea that the Call of Duty acquisition could “tip” subscription services in favor of Xbox. Sony has chosen to block Game Pass on PlayStation, so it is not available on PlayStation. As all games that are available on Game Pass are also available for purchase, PlayStation players will continue to have the ability to purchase Call of Duty on PlayStation. And doing so will always cost less than switching to buying a new Xbox console.
It seems quite logical and understandable that neither of the two manufacturers wishes to offer a competing service on its platform, especially since subscription game offers are not yet legion and a market remains to be taken. As a reminder, Sony announced the new PlayStation Plus last spring, a service that aims to compete with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass.