A reader reacts to Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda and imagines a future where Apple or Google decide to buy Sony and the PlayStation.
I’m aware that this subject could spark emotions on either side of the console battle lines but this is merely a think piece spurred by the recent mega deal involving Microsoft purchasing ZeniMax Media. I’m not suggesting any of my upcoming hypothesising will actually come to pass but my perspective of the future of console gaming has changed somewhat as a result of the deal (and the potential for more) and I’ve been wondering how others view it.
As a PlayStation owner (for all of their generations, I also had an Xbox 360 once) I’ve been calling out for Microsoft to actually start producing a consistent stream of high-quality exclusives for a long time. While this is still yet to happen, the ZeniMax deal signals their intentions to try and do so. Now I’m not going to go into whether I think the big Bethesda IPs will remain multiplatform or become Xbox exclusives (Microsoft can do whatever they like with their property regardless of the anti-consumer spin uncle Phil has used up until now when discussing exclusivity). I instead want to talk about how this has reinforced Phil’s claims that PlayStation is no longer viewed as Microsoft’s competition.
I’m finally starting to agree with him, as regardless of creative excellence Sony just can’t compete in business with Microsoft. Yes, Sony have enough money to have made the same purchase (though it would hit their bottom line harder) but if it were ever to become a bidding war Microsoft would just escalate the price above anything that Sony could afford. And what with Google and now Amazon starting their own game streaming services the competition is on. All three corporations weigh in at around the $300-400 billion net worth, with poor old Sony nowhere near at about $70-80 billion. Then there is Apple, who don’t quite seem as all-in as the others but have Apple Arcade and are worth more than all of them combined (not including Google’s parent company Alphabet).
So with all that out of the way, my supposition ignited by the recent acquisition is, what if Google, Amazon or Apple just bought Sony (or even just the PlayStation sub-division)? All of a sudden, they would be at the pinnacle of the direction they all seemingly want a piece of. I know Sony probably wouldn’t want to sell (and us PlayStation players would probably feel uneasy about it at the very least) but money talks and the ZeniMax purchase proves that gaming is seen as a very big industry for companies involved in digital enterprises.
All of a sudden, you could have Microsoft Xbox vs. Apple PlayStation (vs. Amazontendo… or whatever). As I mentioned in the preamble, I’m not saying that this will happen and I know that Google already have the shambolic Stadia and Amazon just announced the soon to be shambolic Luna… but they could have just bought the current brand leader and avoided all the embarrassment.
By reader colonelkilgore69
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