Sony SIE President and CEO, Jim Ryan, has made controversial statements regarding Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service during the recent FTC v. Microsoft acquisition case. Ryan expressed his skepticism towards the popular subscription service and criticized Microsoft’s strategy multiple times.
During the court session, it was revealed that Ryan believed Microsoft’s introduction of AAA games with budgets exceeding $100 million to Xbox Game Pass was an attempt to use monetary power to guarantee minimum income for game publishers. However, he argued that this approach has not significantly impacted publishers’ attention towards Microsoft. Ryan highlighted the significance of his own PlayStation Plus subscription service, stating that it is “more meaningful” than Xbox Game Pass.
Ryan’s criticism of Xbox Game Pass extended to claim that Microsoft’s service not only devalues individual games but also causes damage at the entire gaming industry level. He emphasized that this sentiment is shared by all publishers with whom he has discussed Xbox Game Pass.
Furthermore, Ryan highlighted the success of PlayStation Plus, revealing that it currently boasts nearly 50 million subscribers, compared to Microsoft’s announced figure of 25 million Xbox Game Pass subscribers in January 2023. This, according to Ryan, demonstrates the practicality and value of PlayStation’s subscription service.
In a direct comparison, Ryan expressed his negative view of Microsoft’s recent $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, contrasting it with Sony’s own $3.6 billion acquisition of Bungie. He asserted that Bungie would bring more value to PlayStation than Activision Blizzard, further criticizing Microsoft’s acquisition strategy.
On a more positive note, Ryan also shared some exciting news regarding PlayStation’s success. During a separate announcement in July, he revealed that global sales of the PS5 had surpassed 40 million units. He highlighted the wide range of games available on the platform, boasting over 2,500 titles, including independent games and AAA best-sellers.
Ryan attributed PS5’s success to Sony Interactive Entertainment‘s commitment to prioritizing the preferences and needs of the gaming community. This led to the development of innovative features like adaptive triggers and tactile feedback on the DualSense controller and the forthcoming PlayStation VR2. PlayStation Studios and third-party partners have been utilizing these features to expand creative ideas and enhance the gaming experience for players.
The FTC v. Microsoft acquisition case has shed light on Jim Ryan’s perspective on Xbox Game Pass and Sony’s commitment to delivering a valuable gaming experience through PlayStation Plus and PS5. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, the competition between Sony and Microsoft remains fierce, with both companies constantly striving to win over gamers worldwide.