A new report from Insider Gaming suggests that PlayStation lead Jim Ryan's private opinion of Xbox Game Pass is at odds with his public one.
Sony PlayStation is Microsoft's primary competitor in the console space, and they are among the only companies to publicly and privately complain to global regulators about Microsoft's deal to purchase Activision Blizzard. Call of Duty exclusivity is often cited as the main reason PlayStation is supposedly "afraid" of the deal, despite the fact Microsoft has offered a contract for an unprecedented 10-year guarantee to provide Call of Duty to PlayStation, alongside Nintendo and Steam PC platforms.
The U.S. regulator has sought to block the deal, with the view that consolidation would supposedly "harm" competition in developing markets like cloud streaming and subscription services — two areas where Sony has apparent limited interest in investing. Sony seeks instead to preserve the status quo, of the annualized retail Call of Duty, owing to the vast amount of money the company makes from full $70 versions of the game. Microsoft has pledged to put Call of Duty into Xbox Game Pass for $10 per month — something that would benefit everybody except Sony's shareholders.
Sony is only investing scant amounts in its own subscription and cloud services. PlayStation Now remains the lowest quality option for cloud gaming, left in the dust by NVIDIA GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming, with fewer games and fewer servers.
For Sony's Jim Ryan to claim privately that Xbox Game Pass isn't truely competition for PlayStation just adds further fuel to the idea that the FTC's position is completely untenable, and driven by a poisonous cocktail of ignorance and ideology.