There is no love lost between Sony and Microsoft on the front of the console. Companies are fierce competitors, and things are heating up now that the Xbox Series X / S and PlayStation 5 have been battling it out in the market for six months.
A sticking point between the two concerns games and the way they are delivered to consumers. Since Microsoft has its Windows PC and Xbox platforms to distribute games, it has the option – so far, with great success – to release proprietary games simultaneously only on both platforms. Plus, thanks to Xbox Game Pass, gamers can play new releases on day one with their membership – not just old games from its existing PlayStation exclusive library (like with PS Now).
“So at the moment we’re the only platform to deliver console, PC and cloud games simultaneously,” Xbox chief Phil Spencer said in a pre-E3 2021 briefing, according to GamesIndustry. “Others bring console games to PC years later, not only forcing people to buy their hardware up front, but then charging them a second time to play on PC.” Spencer talks, of course, about the Sony PlayStation exclusives that would eventually end up on the PC side years later. We’ve seen this in the past with games like Death Stranding, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Days Gone, which eventually received PC ports.
“But I want to stress that PlayStation will remain the best place to play our PlayStation Studios titles at launch,” PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst said in a PlayStation Q&A earlier this month. “But we value PC gamers, and we’ll continue to look for the right times to launch every game.”
Neither strategy is perfect, but Spencer believes Microsoft’s approach is more consumer-centric with better access to popular games, new and old. And that approach will only accelerate in the future, according to Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty.
“In terms of overall programming, we want to get to a point where a new game is released every quarter,” Booty said. “We know that a thriving entertainment service needs a consistent and exciting flow of new content. So our portfolio will continue to grow as our service grows.”
We’ll learn more about Microsoft at this weekend’s Xbox and Bethesda Game Showcase at E3 2021. The event takes place on Sunday, June 13 at 1 p.m. EST.