Microsoft Schools Sony on better running PlayStation Plus

A gruesome fusion of the Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus logos is thought-provoking.

picture: Sony/Microsoft/Kotaku

That treasure trove of a document Microsoft’s response to Sony’s objections to efforts to buy Activision Blizzard, filed with Brazil’s competition authorities on Tuesday, contains another absolute gem. In it, Microsoft took the time to tell Sony how it could (read: should) run its revamped PS Plus service better so that it wouldn’t have to worry as much about the competition, such as: Xbox Game Pass.

As kotaku reported earlier, the document, sent out as part of one of the many international competition investigations into Microsoft’s attempt to buy Activision Blizzard, accuses Sony of making deals with publishers preventing games from appearing on Game Pass, setting an example for Sony own competitive behavior is cited. This is accompanied by lists of examples of Sony’s own first-party titles that won’t be released for competing consoles, to make it clear that Microsoft would make Activision games exclusive to Xbox, consistent with the objection’s own actions would.

But what makes me so happy is to notice a paragraph buried in there where Microsoft stops giving Sony unsolicited advice on how the Japanese company could run PS Plus much better. Microsoft’s top advice? Add first-party PlayStation titles from day one.

The statement from the Portuguese-language document (translated by a friend of kotaku) begins: “Sony may be able to capitalize even more on the high quality of its first-party games by making them available on PlayStation Plus on release day. Such a strategy could rapidly accelerate the growth of the service’s user base in response to competitive pressures from Game Pass (or any other service) and [the strategy] will not be adopted by Sony, even when it comes to the new and updated PlayStation Plus.”

There are so many zingers and little things in there. First off, just including unsolicited advice is such a bitchy move. “Hey Sony, are you worried? are you Well, maybe you could do better by following our lead?” Then there’s the “rapid acceleration in the growth of the service’s user base,” or to put it another way, “Is your PS Plus audience tiny? Ah.” Then the glorious, “even when it comes to the new and updated PlayStation Plus.” Even Microsoft was completely baffled that Sony didn’t do this as part of the relaunch.

Just in case that wasn’t snappy enough, Microsoft concludes the small section with the words: “Such a move by Sony could make PlayStation Plus even more attractive to be able to compete with possible strategies of competing game manufacturers – to the advantage of players. “

It’s so plump! It boils down to Microsoft saying, “If you think buying Activision Blizzard is going to jeopardize your business, maybe you should run your business better?” That’s how it works!”

It’s worth going through the entire 27-page document Google translator for your own amusement as it is only the most scathing writing.

Don’t mistake my joy at the childish jolts for choosing sides in this whole maelstrom. God knows I hate that the games industry is buying itself out and heading towards the deadly state of the music industry where it’s almost entirely owned by just four companies. But as I watch in horror I will delight in the pettiness along the way. Microsoft Schools Sony on better running PlayStation Plus

Curtis Crabtree

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