Is there about to be an acquisition war between Sony and Microsoft?

Over recent years we have seen an uptick in developer studio acquisitions, but this year has really begun to heat things up. Or at least it seems as such.    Microsoft showed the world just how serious the company is about getting ahead of the curve and definitely flexed just how much money the company has to play with.    With the acquisition of Activision underway, Microsoft has a huge edge right now. Owning both Bethesda and Activision is a major win for the company. Granted, Sony has made some decent acquisitions such as buying Insomniac and now buying out Bungee, but it just didn’t speak as loudly.    When it was announced that Microsoft was closing a deal to purchase Activision, stocks for Sony took a big hit. Sony answered the call by announcing they were buying Bungee. That’s a small flex, if it’s a flex at all, but still, the timing was definitely about trying to swing back at the Xbox company and try to give investors a little peace of mind.    While Microsoft has stated that Activision games will continue to show up on PlayStation consoles even after the initial timed agreements, that could very well change once Microsoft seals the deal and owns the company.    We don’t know for sure that the acquisition will go through as lawmakers in the US look into the matter, but if it does happen, there’s a good chance Microsoft will recant on their promise or even go as far as using their new found franchises as a bargaining chip to get more of what they want out of Sony.    It wasn’t that long ago that Phil Spencer said he wants Xbox Gamepass to be available on PlayStation consoles. He wasn’t kidding when he made that statement and in my humble opinion, I don’t think Microsoft cares as much about console sales as they do subscription and game sales.    Infact (and call me crazy), I think it’s only a matter of time before Microsoft closes up shop on being a console manufacturer and solely becomes a game publishing company instead. Not because they have to, but because the company makes money for software sales and not so much hardware. Granted they make their own consoles in order to get more sales, so I could be completely wrong, but it’s just my opinion and doesn’t hold much water.    As 2022 goes on, I think we’re going to see a few more major acquisitions from both Microsoft and Sony. Both companies obviously have different strategies when it comes to this, but Sony is definitely looking into its pockets to see if there’s a way to increase their acquisition budget and grab a few more studios.    I don’t think Sony has anything to worry about. The company may not have the deep pockets that Microsoft has, but that hasn’t kept the company from continuing to dominate the industry. I know the Gamepass is incredibly hard to compete with … Read More

Is the end of CoD on PlayStation?

There is a lot going on with the game industry right now, and if you’ve been living under a rock lately (which is actually possible), you probably already know that Microsoft is purchasing game publisher giant Activision for close to $70 billion USD.   I’ll be the first to admit that I never saw this coming. I mean, I’m not usually surprised when a development studio gets purchased, but Activision? I’m still a little floored by this announcement.   The biggest thing I’ve been hearing about this acquisition is concern that Call of Duty will no longer be put on PlayStation consoles. There is a lot of back and forth thinking on this topic.   On the one hand, people have pointed out the loss of sales the franchise would have if it was no longer available on PlayStation. On the other hand, it would most likely help boost the number of Xbox consoles sold by Microsoft. Either way, Microsoft is going to be in control and there isn’t anything we can do about it except to speculate about the future.   CoD has always been a favorite game of mine, but over the years it’s gotten to a point where many feel like the series has gone downhill. It’s really a rollercoaster ride. One year it could be a great entry and the next it could be Vanguard. It’s hard to put faith into it these days. It feels played out and used up. Hopefully, this Microsoft acquisition will improve the series, but this does sting a little. I am fortunate enough to have both a PS5 and Xbox Series X, but I always prefer my PlayStation as the go to console.   It’s been said that the next three CoD titles will be on PlayStation, but I take it with a grain. We thought Starfield was still going to be on PlayStation, but it was yanked and will be an Xbox/PC exclusive. It seems strange to me that after we finally got cross-platform play on consoles, that they would take the franchise away from PlayStation players, especially since we’ve seen MLB The Show become available on Xbox consoles.   All of the above said, if Microsoft does end up pulling CoD from PS consoles, I don’t think it will really matter. People won’t leave Sony over CoD. I don’t buy the PlayStation brand so I can play CoD, I buy it for the exclusive titles. Same reason I have an Xbox on the side. There are some games I want to play, but they’re only on Xbox or PC, and my PC is a potato, so there’s that.   Personally, I think Microsoft will eventually make CoD a timed exclusive that will release on PlayStation consoles later on. This gives consumers motivation to purchase a new Xbox console and CoD in order to avoid waiting for it to drop on PlayStation. We might just see timed dlc exclusives like the old days (that weren’t that long ago, really) … Read More

Microsoft to Acquire Activision Blizzard for $70 Billion

For some people, January 18th is a Tuesday, but for us in the gaming world, it’s another massive announcement out of left field. News broke on this day that Microsoft, fresh off of their recent Bethesda acquisition, is now set to acquire Activision Blizzard for a staggering $68.7 billion dollars! This is pending final approval from regulatory bodies, but if this goes through, it will make Microsoft the third largest gaming company in terms of revenue, beaten only by Sony and Tencent. Of course, you’re probably wondering why this matters to a PlayStation gaming site. For starters, a lot of games you may play on PlayStation could be going exclusive to Xbox now, not to mention the ongoing harassment investigations and toxic culture at Activision Blizzard. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s dive in. Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard: Could Call of Duty Become an Xbox Exclusive? Getting past the huge amount of money changing hands here, what does this mean for Activision Blizzard’s catalogue? We’re talking about Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo, and yes, Candy Crush. This is one of the biggest companies in gaming that’s merging with Microsoft, so does that mean some of your favorite titles are going to go exclusive to Xbox? Right now the best answer is “maybe.” We had a similar line of questioning when Microsoft acquired Bethesda. As it turned out, Starfield is going to be exclusive to Xbox. This may not be a blanket policy for Bethesda titles, but the other options aren’t much better for PS5 gamers. Future Bethesda studio titles could be timed exclusives that come to PS5 a year after Xbox, or they could have exclusive content, which brings us back to Call of Duty. Call of Duty games have often had PlayStation exclusive content or modes in the multiplayer. Obviously, if this deal goes off without a hitch, that’s no longer going to be the case. What could happen is that Xbox enjoys that type of content and COD remains a multiplatform title. My gut says this is how it will be, only because of things like Warzone being multiplatform and Call of Duty being such a decidedly multiplatform title. Of course, $70 billion is a lot of money, so maybe Sony needs to bring back something like Resistance or Killzone to fill the gap if COD goes Xbox exclusive. Without more detail, we can only speculate here, but it’s safe to assume that at least a few big franchises won’t be on PlayStation going forward. Addressing the Kotick in the Room Now, something that cannot be left off the table is the ongoing accusations of harassment and toxic culture at Activision Blizzard. The entire scope of this ongoing investigation is worthy of its own entire article and discussion, but you can get caught up on everything with this piece from PC Gamer. In addition to the horrible stories coming out of Activision Blizzard since last year, it’s curious that just one week prior to this … Read More

Back 4 Blood open beta, Death loop has gone gold and more in this weeks drop!

It’s been a pretty good week for gaming news and it’s about that time we look back at some of the highlights. On top of the news recap this weekend, keep your eyes out for my impressions of Back 4 Blood as well as live-streaming the same title this week. Without further ado, let’s get to the news!    Back 4 Blood is currently in an open beta stage for everyone to try. Not gonna say too much about the title just yet, but I will say it has more elements than I expected, so that’s a good sign for what’s in the full game. I have found it to be quite fun so far, but not without its share of issues.  I can’t wait to learn more and give you my first impressions next week. Fear not, it opens to everyone, not just preorders, so we’re clear.    Another game I am excited for this month as should most PlayStation owners, is Ghost of Tsushima. With the big update on its way that adds an extension to the game, a multiplayer variant and for a few extra dollars you get a PS5 upgrade, it’s almost time for me to hop back on and revisit the game.    Someone listed a couple of PS5 developer kits on eBay the other day. The bidding reached over $3000 USD before the listing was taken down by eBay without explanation. We’re guessing that Sony got involved and had the listing removed, but without an official statement from either eBay or Sony, there is no way to confirm Sony’s involvement. Personally, if I was in the market for a PS5, I wouldn’t be interested in buying a dev kit. It might have some collector’s value down the road, but it’s still a hard pass for me. Would you buy one?    In other news, Sony has seen a decline in PlayStation plus subscribers, but the company isn’t worried about it as the PlayStation brand continues to be the biggest money maker for Sony right now. Which really makes me wounded where Sony would be right now if they had passed on the console business. It is my understanding that PlayStation is the company’s flagship right now, so it is quite possible that Sony could have gone bankrupt had it not gotten into gaming. Interesting thought to mull over. What do you think would have happened?    Deathloop has gone gold! PS5’s timed exclusive that was originally planned to release back in May of this year, has finally been completed and is ready for gamers to play. Unfortunately for me and other Gamers that can’t wait to play this game, going gold now doesn’t move the release date any closer. September 14th, it is! Microsoft now owns the developer and publisher behind Deathloop, but prior to MS making the purchase of Zenimax and everything under its umbrella, the deal had already been struck with Sony and the companies had to follow through with the terms. … Read More

PS5 gets a system update, possible upcoming PlayStation experience and more in last weeks new update today!

A good amount of gaming news has dropped over that last week or so and while I don’t have anything game changing for you today (pun intended), but there will definitely be something big coming later this month from EA and hopefully Sony will give us something more than the State of Plays they have been dropping for us. Without further ado, let’s get to the gaming news drop, shall we?    The PS5 got another firmware update the other day. It doesn’t bring anything heavy hitting to the console, but performance improvements are always a good thing. Here’s a look at the notes:   This system software update improves system performance. We’ve updated the DualSense wireless controller device software to improve stability. We’ve fixed an issue that restricted the functionality of some screens when the screen reader was enabled. We’ve fixed an issue where games that you’ve hidden on PS4 were not hidden on PS5. We’ve made the process of copying games from USB extended storage to console storage in the game library more stable   All useful improvements in the end. Hopefully something big is coming soon.  Thinking august we will get the PlayStation Experience.    In other news, Cyberpunk 2077 is back in the PSN store. The heads over at Projekt CD Red say they are satisfied with how the game plays on last Gen consoles, although I still hear a lot of complaints from players that say the game is in just as bad of shape as it was before. I mean, Sony gave it the greenlight so it must be improved somewhat, but I haven’t played it on last Gen consoles, so I cannot attest to either. Fingers crossed the majority are happy with it.    Ghost of Tsushima directors cut for PS4 and PS5 has a price tag on it that isn’t appeasing fans. If you already own the game on PS4, the upgrade will run you $19.99 USD and the PS5 version will cost 29.99 USD. PS5 owners seem to be the most upset because the upgrade is obviously $10 more. Fans are upset because an upgrade between last and next Gen consoles is usually free, but the extra $10 just for PS5 features does seem kinda shiesty on Sony’s part. I know it’s a business, but that doesn’t mean businesses don’t get petty at times.   Sony hosted another State of Play stream a few days ago. They announced some upcoming games, but it wasn’t even close to the show everyone is hoping will happen soon. I mentioned in the last article that Sony did trademark PlayStation Experience this year which is a sure sign that there is a yet to be announced show coming up. I’m guessing it’ll take place in late August and I would be surprised if the show didn’t take place at all.. State of Play was ok, but does little for those waiting to hear some hard hitting news.    If you’re looking for a bargain on … Read More

Microsoft had an impressive show during E3. Should Sony be worried?

So, E3 had a pretty decent event for Microsoft this year. It seems that the Xbox is finally getting a great lineup of first party titles to end the console’s long running drought of exclusives. Xbox and PlayStation fans alike should rejoice! The stronger the competition in the market, the better the games and offers from both companies. It doesn’t matter which console you root for as long there is solid competition.    Now, not taking a shot here, but even if Microsoft didn’t have a great lineup during their presentation at E3 the absence of Sony is definitely an advantage. Sony won’t likely show up for another E3 ever again, but the company is still missed. I wonder if Phil Spencer got excited before the show and said “We’re really gonna steal the show from Sony this year!” Just kidding. Phil is obviously a smart guy, but anyway, let’s review some of the Microsoft presentations and discuss what Sony needs to do in response.    I can’t honestly say what is the better announcement for games this year because seriously, a bunch of them look and sound great to me. Starfield and The Outer Worlds 2 have both been confirmed to be Xbox exclusives and while that isn’t a surprise, boy does that sting. Well, kind of stings. I’m sorry, but when I think about what Sony has already released and is going to release, I can be pretty ok with losing Bethesda to Microsoft. It doesn’t hurt that I have all of the consoles that have been released, so I don’t lose out there either, but that fact aside, I want to finish this up from a “I only play on PlayStation” state of mind.    Halo Infinite has been given a holiday release date for this year and I am sure fans are hoping to see this franchise rejuvenated to some of its former glory. What was once an amazing franchise took a break from stellar development and has become mediocre for sometime now. I imagine it must be a tough job to take on the pressure of making this a great game again. I’ve been plenty disappointed over the years, so I’m sure the major fanbase is hoping, but not expecting something that will be memorable. They’ll find out this holiday!    Forza Horizon 5 was announced during the show. Another first party Xbox exclusive and I can say this much, Horizon is one franchise that releases steadily without disappointment. Fans of the series are fans for good reason. As a PlayStation fan, I enjoy Granturismo, but I would rather play Horizon. I know they are two different games, but if I had a say in the matter, I would pluck Horizon right over the PlayStation lineup. The game looks great and it’s hard to imagine being anything less. Forza Horizon 5 releases this year on November 9th.    Not everything during the Microsoft show was exclusive of course, but some of the third party titles … Read More

Sony ending production of most PS4’s in Japan and Microsoft based the Xbox on PS2?

Hi everyone, thanks for dropping by to catch up on some of the latest news in the world of gaming. In light of everything that has been going on in the United States, I’m a few days late on my regular report and I apologize for that, but we’re not here to discuss that. We’re here to discuss video games!    So, Nintendo is expected to outsell the PS5 and the Xbox Series X/S in 2021, according to several industry analysts. It won’t just outsell the latest generation of consoles, but it is expected to be the top console all year. Word is, there will be a new “pro” version of the Nintendo Switch and if that is the case, it would only help bolster Nintendo’s sales even further. Let’s be honest here, none of these companies are hurting for money right now and it’s nice to see someone else outselling the PS console at the moment because it will only pressure companies to up the ante and compete for top spot!    There is no doubt that Nintendo has created a great little console and in some ways it is in a market of its own, but with the pandemic world wide, Sony and Microsoft alike are having trouble producing enough consoles to meet the demand. 2021 is surely going to be an interesting year for consoles and games.    Speaking of producing consoles, Sony has announced the company will stop production of all PS4 models in Japan, except for one slim model. The PS4 has been outselling the PS5 in Japan and some of the reasoning sighted is the issue with low production, so cutting back on the PS4 should increase the number of PS5’s available, right? Of course, there seems to be a decline for Playstation products in Japan, so that could also play a part. If analysts’ predictions are correct, there will be enough consoles for everyone that really wants one by April, so if you have been waiting, it shouldn’t be too much longer.    In other console tidbits, here are a bit of some interesting facts about what was going on pre-original Xbox development. Before Microsoft came up with the Xbox console, they shopped around for a few companies that had already been in the industry. MS looked into purchasing companies like Electronic Arts, but EA kindly declined as they the company wasn’t up for sale, even more interesting, Microsoft went onto to ask Nintendo if they would consider being bought out. Ahh, to be a fly on that wall, huh? As it turns out, the execs at Nintendo busted out in laughter and seemingly laughed throughout the meeting. The idea really makes you wonder what things would be like if that transaction actually happened. I think if either Microsoft or Sony did manage to buy Nintendo, that would forever end the console wars and would ultimately create the most powerful game company in history and likely the future. The possibilities for Mario and … Read More

What if Nintendo and Sony went through with their partnership?

It’s a question that I have thought about many times over. It isn’t a heavily discussed topic, but it is certainly an intriguing one. What if Nintendo and Sony managed to partner up back in the 90’s and actually moved forward in the gaming industry together?  Just for the sake of “in case you didn’t know,” back in the early 1990’s, Nintendo had tapped Sony to build a CD-Rom variant for the Super Nintendo console. Nintendo then backed out of the deal and went with the company Philips, to develop for them instead. From there, Sony further developed their CD-Rom and the PlayStation was born.    Sony has always been a very different company than Nintendo. From the moment the first PlayStation console dropped, Sony was offering content that was more mature for gamers. Nintendo was and still is considered the more family friendly console.    Sony carved a space for the PlayStation brand in the gaming industry and changed everything. Sega was seemingly pushed out of the console making space and became a third party developer after the Sega Dreamcast failed to make sales needed to keep the company a float.  We watched as Nintendo began to struggle and Microsoft entered the gaming space with the highly successful Xbox, thanks to the release of the PlayStation 2, which still holds the record for most units sold as a single console. The PS3 had a staggering start when it released one year after the Xbox 360 and came with an extremely high price tag. What may have very well ended another company, Sony came back with additional models of the PS3, lowered the unit price and did manage to outsell the Xbox 360 in lifetime sales.    While Sony and Microsoft battled it out for the market, Nintendo did manage to comeback with the Wii console and of course, dominated sales in regard to handheld devices. Since then, Sony has dominated the market with the PS4 and both Nintendo and Microsoft have managed to stay in the game… No pun intended, but it is fitting.    Now in present day, we prepare  to see the Playstation 5 revealed and by holiday this year, the ongoing battle for top console sales will start over once again. With that, I circle back to PlayStation’s beginning. What if Nintendo didn’t back out of the deal it had been working on with Sony? Let’s speculate, shall we?    There are many possibilities to what could have happened. In all actuality, we will never know, but here is how I imagine things could have gone down. After Sony had gone ahead and announced a partnership with Nintendo, the big N, graciously confirms said partnership. With excitement in the air, Nintendo and Sony make waves in the gaming industry. The tides are turning and not only does this partnership excite gamers around the world, but SEGA is getting excited too!.    SEGA was far ahead of the curve when it came to video game tech. Maybe … Read More

Sony and Microsoft announce partnership to improve cloud gaming!

In an interesting announcement from Sony and Microsoft, the two companies have formed a partnership to better the use of cloud gaming. This is a pretty big deal. While there was no mention of the PlayStation or Xbox brand, cloud gaming is the specific and considering both companies own major gaming divisions, this 5 year partnership could very well lead to a very massive and very profitable future for both companies, all the while coming up with plans to stay in the game industry as we await the inevitable end/change of traditional console gaming. First off, this announcement won’t change the fact that there is another round of consoles around the corner. These companies both want us to buy their specific brand over the other. Setting the upcoming PS5 (assuming it is named PS5) and the Xbox One – Two aside, many people in game industry believe that consoles will transform into stream boxes and physical discs will become obsolete. I don’t know how soon that would actually happen myself, but I do believe it’s going to happen eventually. CEO and president of Sony,  Kenichiro Yoshida said: Sony is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. We collaborate closely with a multitude of content creators that capture the imagination of people around the world, and through our cutting-edge technology, we provide the tools to bring their dreams and vision to reality. PlayStation itself came about through the integration of creativity and technology. Our mission is to seamlessly evolve this platform as one that continues to deliver the best and most immersive entertainment experiences, together with a cloud environment that ensures the best possible experience, anytime, anywhere. For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course the two companies have also been competing in some areas. I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content. Additionally, I hope that in the areas of semiconductors and AI, leveraging each company’s cutting-edge technology in a mutually complementary way will lead to the creation of new value for society. Some believe that this the answer back to the upcoming Google Stadia, the streaming box that google announced recently. While I can appreciate the speculation, I think this has more about securing the future in the industry, rather than to compete against the Stadia. I’m just throwing my opinion out there so, I could be wrong. Who really knows? Time will tell, I guess. So, there isn’t much else to go on at the moment, but I can only imagine what rumors and theories are about to float around the internet. It’s going to be interesting. What do you think this new partnership could to lead in the future?

Sony Will Win The VR War on The PS5

Virtual Reality has finally gone from a pipe dream, to something you can buy and experience on a PlayStation console. Competition has been fierce from the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, but Microsoft has been lagging behind in this department. Meanwhile, more and more companies are coming out with epic experiences on PlayStation VR as the catalog grows by the week. Recent sales numbers are showing strong adoption of this new hardware, and while Microsoft is finally discussing VR in more detail, it’s clear that Sony is ahead of the pack. When PS5 releases, it will have the power (and possibly the VR headset) to beat them all. Join us as we look at all the evidence pointing to a future where Sony rules the VR playing field. PlayStation VR Selling Strong, Competition is Lagging After its launch in the final months of 2016, everyone wanted to know how PlayStation VR was selling. Would it soar high and break Sony’s track record of under-performing peripherals (sorry PlayStation Move)? There were plenty of naysayers who wanted to shoot it down, but in early 2017, Sony started talking numbers. Andrew House, global chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment, spoke with The New York Times and mentioned some specifics about the sales of their VR headset and how they stacked up against expectations. Andrew House himself was concerned about how quickly the market would jump on the VR bandwagon: “It’s the classic case in any organization, the guys who are on the front end in sales are getting excited, very hyped up. You have to temper that with other voices in the company, myself among them, saying let’s just be a little bit careful.” They decided not to manufacture as many as you would expect, and as a result, there was a major shortage in stores everywhere, Japan especially. During his interview with The New York Times, Andrew House revealed that as of February 19th, 2017, PSVR had sold 915,000 headsets in four months since launch. The internal goals for Sony were a million headsets in the first six months. Andrew House mentioned in his interview that “You literally have people lining up outside stores when they know stock is being replenished,” when he was describing the atmosphere in Japan. Clearly Sony is set to meet or exceed these expectations. These numbers also place Sony at the forefront of VR success. In terms of premium headsets, PlayStation VR is the lowest price point at $399. While Oculus, Facebook, and HTC haven’t shared their sales numbers yet, research from SuperData Research has estimate that Oculus Rift sold about 243,000 and HTC Vive sold 420,000 by the end of 2016. Comparing all of this to other technology launches, one of the most successful launches was the iPhone first three months in 2007 in which it sold 1.4 million units. On the software side of things, Sony is enjoying massive engagement with VR since the launch of Resident Evil 7, which supported the entire game in … Read More