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This is no longer a surprise to anyone, Microsoft has been in difficulty with the sale of its Xbox consoles since the PS4 VS Xbox One generation. As for the current generation, while sales of the PS5 are exploding, those of the Xbox Series S and Faced with the failure of its hardware, Microsoft came to terms a while ago, and its strategy mainly revolves around its subscription called Xbox Game Pass. For 15 euros per month, this allows you to enjoy a catalog of more than a hundred games, including exclusives from Xbox studios from the day they are released. Already available on Xbox consoles, on PCs, phones, tablets and on certain smart TVs.
Microsoft wants to attack Nintendo and PlayStation
Recently, the director financier of Microsoft's Xbox branch Tim Stuartannounced this change in strategy: “without wanting to announce something with great fanfare, our mission is to offer our experiences and our subscriptions to every screen that allows games to be played. Smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, and also on the equipment of those previously considered competition, PlayStation and Nintendo”. It seems clear here that Microsoft is trying to make allies of Sony and Nintendo, or rather, to try to force their hand to impose its service?
Microsoft and Nintendo, small gesture by small gesture
Remember more than 20 years ago, Microsoft tried to buy Nintendo, in front of the general hilarity of the Japanese firm. Apparently, Microsoft has not given up on setting foot in their home, making gestures several times showing their goodwill. We notably include the integration ofSteve, a character from Minecraft license itself pushed by M$, in Super Smash Bros.Similarly for Banjo and Kazooiefrom the Rare studio, also belonging to the American giant after its purchase from Nintendo. Recently, Jet Force Gemini, a Rare game released on Nintendo 64, was added to the online service offered by Nintendo.
We can see in this a desire from Microsoft to reach out to Nintendoin order to gradually intrude on the Japanese manufacturer's consoles. From there to imagining that the Japanese firm could authorize Microsoft to offer a service such as Game Pass on their console, therefore knowingly competing with their own games, there is still a gulf. As said so well Phil Spencer, director of the Xbox branch in 2020 “competitors are not really interested in offering the Xbox experience on their platforms”.
Sony and Microsoft, the great enemies
If Nintendo and Microsoft are able to agree, it is because the two companies know very well that they do not represent a threat to either of them. On the other hand, if there is one competitor that Microsoft would probably like to do without, it is Sony. If Microsoft is trying to put on a good show, it is Sony and its PlayStations which are hurting sales of Xbox consoles, the latter lacking popularity (and killer apps unlike Sony, it must be said). Only, Microsoft doesn't intend to stop there, and has just successfully completed a transaction that still has Sony shaking to this day, and it's not about to stop.
Indeed, the Redmond firm has just finalizedits acquisition of Activision Blizzardafter a long legal battle. A takeover for which Sony's opposition was tenacious, given that the Call of Duty license is probably the one that sells the most PlayStations in the world. You only need to look at the game sales figures in France given by SELL each week to see that the license has been at the top of sales on PS5 almost systematically since the release of the console. Obviously, Sony fears that Microsoft could one day keep the exclusivity of the license, which would be an immeasurable loss for Sony. Is this the way that Microsoft has chosen to try to impose its Game Pass on Sony in the future? Only time will tell.
- In a recent statement, the finance director of Microsoft's Xbox branch announced that it wanted to make Xbox Game Pass available on any device capable of playing games.
- It notably included theNintendo and PlayStationconsoles.
- If Microsoft tries to impose its Game Pass to Nintendo and Sony, there is still little chance that the Japanese firms will accept a deal with the American giant.