PlayStation bigwig Jim Ryan has said that Sony would not risk sharing PS6 details with a Microsoft-owned Activision Blizzard, as it claims this would hand its direct competitor highly sensitive information. Innovations like the DualSense and hardware specifications are crucially important to new consoles, and Sony is concerned that if the Redmond firm’s proposed $69 billion acquisition goes through, it’d no longer be able to share those details with the Call of Duty publisher in advance.
The sound bite comes as part of the US Federal Trade Commission’s legal proceedings, as it attempts to temporarily block the deal, although the comments date all the way back to April and are largely redacted. According to Ryan, traditional game development processes would be interrupted due to its inability to “share confidential details [with Activision Blizzard] about its next console in development”.
Microsoft already owns Minecraft, and while a lot of the documentation is redacted, Ryan also expressed concerns about the volume of information its rival is able to extract from that. He further clarified that any details about new hardware is “immensely sensitive”, underlining his point about the kind of risks involved here.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ryan didn’t, however, mention that Sony already owns multiformat developer Bungie and that its first-party team San Diego Studio also releases MLB The Show on multiple systems now. In theory, then, Xbox also finds itself in a position where the nature of its next system could end up being shared with a direct competitor. Of course, there is a difference in scale here: Activision Blizzard is the biggest publisher on the planet, after all.
Elsewhere, Ryan added that, should the acquisition go through, he believes franchises like Call of Duty will have less incentive to take advantage of unique hardware features, like the DualSense. “I believe that [Microsoft]’s incentives – their primary incentive will, at post-acquisition, would be to optimise its overall Xbox business, not the business of Activision,” he said.
The case goes on…