Xbox Admits PlayStation Exclusives Are ‘Better Quality’

A photo shows the Xbox and PlayStation E3 booths next to each other.

Photo: Daniel Bozarski (Getty Images)

In his last written reply sent to UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Group., Microsoft uses a lot of data to prove that beleaguered publisher Activision Blizzard’s purchase won’t hurt Sony or Nintendo. In fact, as its bizarre auto-negging frenzy continues, it suggests the deal will actually help the publisher compete against those other game companies. As part of that argument, Microsoft admits that PlayStation has the best exclusives, giving plenty of pesky console fans more ammunition in their never-ending war to show how much they love their favorite plastic box.

While Microsoft continues its determined attempts to consume Activision Blizzard via its massive $70 billion acquisitionkeep coming across annoying governments and regulators who seem to think maybe, just maybe, one of the biggest tech companies on the planet shouldn’t be allowed to buy one of the biggest video game publishers in history. As a result of this pushback, Microsoft and Xbox have spent the better part of this year dancing from the courtroom to the regulatory committee hearing trying to paint the picture that Xbox is a small brand, with almost no salesand no real power compared to Nintendo and Sony.

His latest attempt came via newly released documents from the UK CMA. In the filings, Microsoft claims that Sony and Nintendo have “better quality” exclusives that outsell their own first-party games.

Found deep in the fairly lengthy document released yesterday on the CMA’s website, Microsoft includes a section suggesting that even if it were to call of Duty an Xbox-exclusive franchise (although he underlines that once again he has no plans too), it wouldn’t matter anyway because Sony and Nintendo only have better-selling, higher-quality exclusives. In subsection 3.67, entitled “Sony has more exclusive games than Microsoft, many of which are better quality,Xbox says exclusivity deals “aren’t uncommon” in video games, and Sony has its own great exclusive games, like the The Last of Us And God of War.

“Both Sony’s and Nintendo’s exclusive first-party games are among the best-selling in Europe and around the world,” Microsoft explained, probably staring at his shoes as he takes out his empty trouser pockets. “Sony’s current exclusive content includes important first parties titles like The Last of Us, Ghost of Tsushima, God of War, And Spiderman. In addition to having exclusive content, Sony has also entered into agreements with third-party publishers that require Xbox to be excluded from the set of platforms on which these publishers can distribute their games.

Read more: The 15 best Xbox Series X and S games

So essentially, Microsoft is arguing that it will never make it call of Duty a console-exclusive franchise, while also arguing that if it did, it wouldn’t matter anyway because the game isn’t all that important to Sony or Nintendo. Much of the company’s response to the CMA’s investigation revolves around underplay call of Dutystating that it’s not a unique game and pointing to fan polls and reviews to prove that other games are far more popular and critically acclaimed than Activision’s annual shooter.

And so on the fusion saga of Microsoft Activision Blizzard King. The CMA, as well as other groups and regulators, will continue to probe and investigate the controversial deal as Microsoft tries to get everyone not to worry, and Sony does the opposite. Bet now on how all this will end. And he also tries not to think about how many terrible people at Activision he will end up much richer once this deal is done.

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