What if Xbox was the big winner of the PlayStation State of Play?

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While Microsoft was belly-dancing in front of the authorities, it seemed that Sony PlayStation’s State of Play couldn’t be at a better time.

This week, Microsoft’s goal was to convince authorities in Europe that the Activision Blizzard acquisition could be good for competition and, therefore, for consumers. The firm wanted to demonstrate it during a hearing before the European Commission, but also during a session in front of the press. It was on this occasion that Microsoft confirmed with Nintendo, but also and above all Nvidia GeForce Now.

For its part, Sony presented its first State of Play of the year 2023 on Thursday night and looking more closely at the announcements, one might think that Microsoft must have been delighted.

Sony makes the game of exclusives

To demonstrate the interest of its takeover bid, Microsoft argued particularly about the strength of PlayStation in video games against Xbox. On the one hand, the firm recalled that PlayStation dominates Xbox in market share in Europe, Japan and the United States. Above all, he wanted to bring fear back to a future Call of Duty Xbox exclusivity by pointing out the many exclusives on PlayStation consoles.

The number of exclusives on PlayStation and Xbox according to Microsoft // Source: Tom Warren

During the State of Play, Sony did not insist on its own PlayStation Studio games, but presented new and no less exclusive exclusives. In fact, the Japanese manufacturer has announced the release of Larian Studio’s Baldur’s Gate 3 as a temporary exclusive on PS5, with a release on the same day as the PC version.

Baldur’s Gate 3 will arrive on PS5 day and date with PC: August 31, 2023.

Watch the new trailer with JK Simmons and check out our blog for more:

Pre-order the PS5 Deluxe Edition or Collector’s Edition: pic.twitter.com/nlt77CoIyw

— Larian Studios will release BG3 on August 31 🥳 (@larianstudios) February 23, 2023

Here’s a new title that isn’t officially announced as planned on Xbox, yet is being developed by a third-party, non-Sony studio. Microsoft may present this example to illustrate how Sony plays the game of console exclusives.

Microsoft offers its games to the competition

As the agreement between Microsoft and Nvidia or Nintendo reminded us before, one of the firm’s ways to convince the authorities is to explain that it is in favor of offering its games on competing platforms. You can also count on Valve, the publisher of Steam on PC, which did not hesitate to endorse Microsoft in its statement on the subject.

It’s always exciting to see more people experience great games like Minecraft Dungeons. @dungeonsgame

—Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) February 24, 2023

During State of Play, Sony revealed the upcoming games coming to its PlayStation Plus service. Among the three games, we find minecraft dungeons developed and published by Xbox Game Studios. With the subtlety of a semi-trailer, Phil Spencer, the president of Microsoft Gaming, did not hesitate to promote it on social networks. In other words, a Microsoft executive promoting a game available on a competing service.

When Sony proves Microsoft’s argument

In a 43-minute event, therefore, we meet Sony, justifying Microsoft’s argument to the authorities twice by example in a crucial week for the evaluation of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. We could also mention the high-speed reinforcement of the PlayStation Plus Extra catalog against Xbox Game Pass. The service will also receive Ghostwire Tokyo in March 2023, another game developed by a Microsoft-owned studio.

Be warned, it should still be noted that competition authorities probably weren’t glued to Twitch on a Thursday at 10pm to find out Sony’s state of play. However, Microsoft could easily dig into it to fuel its argument. Beyond the legal, the acquisition of Activision Blizzard is also at stake in a communication war.

What’s more, State of Play itself doesn’t seem to have fully convinced PlayStation fans themselves, a few weeks after a very successful Nintendo Direct and a surprising Xbox Developer_Direct.

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