PlayStation userbase “significantly larger” than Xbox even if every COD player ditched Sony, Microsoft says

Listing photo for the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller

Microsoft has responded to a list of concerns regarding its ongoing $68bn attempt to buy Activision Blizzard, as raised by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and come up with an interesting statistic.

In response to continued questions over whether Microsoft owning Call of Duty would unfairly hobble PlayStation, Microsoft claimed that every COD player on PlayStation could move over to Xbox, and Sony’s playerbase would still remain “significantly larger” than its own.

Microsoft does not go into detail on its mental arithmetic here, but does note elswhere in its comments that PlayStation currently has a console install base of 150 million, compared to Xbox’s install base of 63.7 million.

That claim is part of a range of comments given to Eurogamer sister site GamesIndustry.biz in response to the CMA’s latest report, which otherwise mostly repeats many of the same concerns raised by the UK regulator – and others around the world – already.

For those following the case, the CMA’s latest intervention will not come as a surprise – it is the next step on the regulator’s recent roadmap for how and when it will weigh in with its final ruling. This month, we were due the CMA’s October “issues statement” – and it seems that this is the document to which Microsoft has now publicly responded.

The usual topics are covered – surrounding the potential for the deal to harm competitors should Microsoft gain too much of an advantage owning Activision Blizzard franchises (mainly, Call of Duty) and therefore being able to leverage their brand power to become a dominant market leader in the console market and cloud streaming.

Specifically, the CMA sees potential for the deal to harm Sony but also other streaming services such as Google (perhaps a moot point now), Amazon and Nvidia.

“Having full control over this powerful catalogue, especially in light of Microsoft’s already strong position in gaming consoles, operating systems, and cloud infrastructure, could result in Microsoft harming consumers by impairing Sony’s – Microsoft’s closest gaming rival – ability to compete,” the CMA wrote, “as well as that of other existing rivals and potential new entrants who could otherwise bring healthy competition through innovative multi-game subscriptions and cloud gaming services.”

In response, Microsoft said such “unsupported theories of harm” were not enough to even warrant the CMA’s current Phase 2 investigation – which was triggered on 1st September.

“The suggestion that the incumbent market leader, with clear and enduring market power, could be foreclosed by the third largest provider as a result of losing access to one title is not credible,” Microsoft told GamesIndustry.biz.

“While Sony may not welcome increased competition, it has the ability to adapt and compete. Gamers will ultimately benefit from this increased competition and choice.

“Should any consumers decide to switch from a gaming platform that does not give them a choice as to how to pay for new games (PlayStation) to one that does (Xbox), then that is the sort of consumer switching behavior that the CMA should consider welfare enhancing and indeed encourage. It is not something that the CMA should be trying to prevent.”

The CMA is due to notify Microsoft of its provisional findings in January 2023, at which point it can seek possible remedies to any sticking points raised. The regulator’s final report – and overall ruling – will then be published no later than 1st March next year.

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About the Author

Tom is Eurogamer’s deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

PlayStation userbase “significantly larger” than Xbox even if every COD player ditched Sony, Microsoft says

Listing photo for the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller

Microsoft has responded to a list of concerns regarding its ongoing $68bn attempt to buy Activision Blizzard, as raised by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and come up with an interesting statistic.

In response to continued questions over whether Microsoft owning Call of Duty would unfairly hobble PlayStation, Microsoft claimed that every COD player on PlayStation could move over to Xbox, and Sony’s playerbase would still remain “significantly larger” than its own.

Microsoft does not go into detail on its mental arithmetic here, but does note elswhere in its comments that PlayStation currently has a console install base of 150 million, compared to Xbox’s install base of 63.7 million.

That claim is part of a range of comments given to Eurogamer sister site GamesIndustry.biz in response to the CMA’s latest report, which otherwise mostly repeats many of the same concerns raised by the UK regulator – and others around the world – already.

For those following the case, the CMA’s latest intervention will not come as a surprise – it is the next step on the regulator’s recent roadmap for how and when it will weigh in with its final ruling. This month, we were due the CMA’s October “issues statement” – and it seems that this is the document to which Microsoft has now publicly responded.

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The usual topics are covered – surrounding the potential for the deal to harm competitors should Microsoft gain too much of an advantage owning Activision Blizzard franchises (mainly, Call of Duty) and therefore being able to leverage their brand power to become a dominant market leader in the console market and cloud streaming.

Specifically, the CMA sees potential for the deal to harm Sony but also other streaming services such as Google (perhaps a moot point now), Amazon and Nvidia.

“Having full control over this powerful catalogue, especially in light of Microsoft’s already strong position in gaming consoles, operating systems, and cloud infrastructure, could result in Microsoft harming consumers by impairing Sony’s – Microsoft’s closest gaming rival – ability to compete,” the CMA wrote, “as well as that of other existing rivals and potential new entrants who could otherwise bring healthy competition through innovative multi-game subscriptions and cloud gaming services.”

In response, Microsoft said such “unsupported theories of harm” were not enough to even warrant the CMA’s current Phase 2 investigation – which was triggered on 1st September.

“The suggestion that the incumbent market leader, with clear and enduring market power, could be foreclosed by the third largest provider as a result of losing access to one title is not credible,” Microsoft told GamesIndustry.biz.

“While Sony may not welcome increased competition, it has the ability to adapt and compete. Gamers will ultimately benefit from this increased competition and choice.

“Should any consumers decide to switch from a gaming platform that does not give them a choice as to how to pay for new games (PlayStation) to one that does (Xbox), then that is the sort of consumer switching behavior that the CMA should consider welfare enhancing and indeed encourage. It is not something that the CMA should be trying to prevent.”

The CMA is due to notify Microsoft of its provisional findings in January 2023, at which point it can seek possible remedies to any sticking points raised. The regulator’s final report – and overall ruling – will then be published no later than 1st March next year.

Become a Eurogamer subscriber and get your first month for £1

Get your first month for £1 (normally £3.99) when you buy a Standard Eurogamer subscription. Enjoy ad-free browsing, merch discounts, our monthly letter from the editor, and show your support with a supporter-exclusive comment flair!

Tagged With

Subscribe to the Eurogamer.net Daily newsletter

Get the day’s most talked about stories straight to your inbox.

About the Author

Tom is Eurogamer’s deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

FrontBurner

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In 2017, some structures near Valley View were demolished. But the mall has remained. Bethany Erickson

Nearly three years after reaching an agreement with the city of Dallas to tear down Valley View Center, a chunk of the mall is still standing, and the inside looks like a blast zone. We know that because a pair of urban explorers—YouTubers Eric J. Kuhns and a guy named Holland who goes by “Helicopter Bear”—had an easy time walking into the wreckage of the vacant mall through an exposed loading bay. They emerge in the food court, whose floor now has a patina of tiny glass shards.

The sheetrock is smashed through, the drop ceilings look like a half-finished puzzle, and all manner of wire and metal juts down from above and through the walls. Plaster columns look like they’ve been smashed with a bat. Most surfaces appear spraypainted.

The Dallas City Attorney’s Office this week opened an investigation into the property, basically signaling to the owner, Beck Ventures, that City Hall is again watching. Jill Haning, an executive assistant city attorney, says the city expects asbestos remediation to start next week, with full demolition coming “in the next couple of weeks.”

“It is our expectation that they follow that timeline,” she says. “Should they not follow that timeline, then we would proceed with litigation.”

The city would likely ask a judge to mandate demolition as well as levy $1,000 daily fines for each violation left unchecked.

All this should sound familiar.

Leading Off (11/18/22)

DMV To Redesign Paper Tags To Avoid Fraud. The counterfeit paper tag racket has finally grown severe enough that the state is redesigning the temporary plates. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles plans to roll out new tags to dealerships on December 9. The new effort predates the death of Grand Prairie Police Officer Brandon Tsai, who died following a collision while chasing a car with fake tags. The suspect in that case, 22-year-old Colbie Hoffman, was arrested on Wednesday night and charged with evading arrest and detention causing death.

FBI Arrests Argyle Fire Chief. Mac Hohenberger returned home from Las Vegas and found FBI agents waiting for him at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The FBI won’t comment on the arrest, but a former firefighter filed a federal lawsuit against the department about a year ago. That suit alleged that something funny was happening with the pension and that money had been misappropriated.

Snow Today? It’s possible. Another cold front arrives this evening, which could spark a few showers. Coverage is expected for only 10 percent to 20 percent of the region, and the flurries would come with the rain. Sounds like a dusting, if any. In the meantime, expect a weekend in the 40s. Winter is here, we skipped fall.

A Dallas Photographer Takes a Shot at Coffee

marc montoya

Marc Montoya, photographed at his home in Oak Cliff. Curious about his favorite shoots? Click the link above to check out a gallery. Elizabeth Lavin

Dallas photographer Marc Montoya has been shooting the Person of Interest Q&A portrait every month for D Magazine for longer than we can recall (in addition to doing work for too many editorial and commercial clients to name here). With the excuse that he has just launched a coffee subscription service, we decided it was time to turn the camera on him. His friend and our staff photographer, Elizabeth Lavin, did the honors this month. Turn the page to learn why Dirk Nowitzki will always be Montoya’s favorite subject.

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Weston McKennie Gets World Cup Mural in Bishop Arts

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Image courtesy Adidas

A confession: unlike my buddy Zac who somehow finds time to watch every Mavericks game and follow the English Premier League and watch the Cowboys and watch FC Dallas games, I don’t pay much attention to domestic soccer. So when I posted earlier this week about FC Dallas striker Jesús Ferreira’s Adidas-commissioned World Cup mural in Oak Cliff, I overlooked a second Dallas player with his own mural.

Weston McKennie is also from here, and he’s also on the U.S. Men’s National Team. He plays for the Serie A club Juventus. Zac informs me that he came up through the FC Dallas Academy and that he is “good as hell,” which is why FC Dallas couldn’t afford to sign him.

McKennie’s mural is at 938 W. Davis St. and was painted by JEKS, who is from Greensboro, North Carolina.

Explainer: The City’s Police and Fire Pension Shortfall May Not Be the Calamity It Was In 2016

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Google Streetview

Tuesday’s news of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System’s $3 billion shortfall in funding made many worry that the system was reverting back to 2016 —insolvent and headed rapidly toward complete collapse.

But the current $3 billion is not like the $1.1 billion the system needed six years ago to stay afloat. For one, this $3 billion is meant to be disbursed over time, in monthly payments to pensioners. In 2016, the pension was dangerously close to being immediately out of money. This time, the pension system wants the city to increase its funding by 35 percent—which would be roughly $58 million.

Pension administrator Kelly Gottschalk told the council’s Government Performance and Financial Management committee this week that the system couldn’t make any more cuts to benefits, nor could it expect officers and firefighters to pay into it at a higher rate. “The only viable solution is additional substantial funding from the City,” she said.

As it stands, in addition to the city increasing its funding share, retirees will likely not see a cost of living adjustment in their benefits for another 51 years. At the current rate of investment returns and new enrollees, the pension won’t be fully funded until 2090. The state legislature is expecting it to be fully funded by 2055.

But to understand why this isn’t the same situation, we’ll need to review a few things.

Leading Off (11/17/22)

Collin County DA Says Sexual Harassment Allegations Are Untrue. Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis held a press conference Wednesday to refute allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation. Willis, who was sued in October by six current and ex-employees, supplied what he said was evidence proving the allegations in the 75-page lawsuit (we wrote about it here) were untrue and that he was “unfairly attacked.”

Texas Inmate Executed Wednesday Night. Stephen Barbee was executed by lethal injection Wednesday evening at the state penitentiary in Hunstville. Barbee was convicted and sentenced to death more than a decade ago for the 2005 suffocation deaths of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Lisa Underwood, and her 7-year-old son, who were later found in a shallow grave in Denton County.

Four Now Charged in Federal Fraud Case. Three more men were added to a federal fraud case that had already resulted in the indictment of Dallas attorney Joseph Garza last month. Attorney and certified public accountant Kevin McDonnell and CPA James Richardson, who own the tax preparation and accounting firm McDonnell Richardson in Waxahachie, and tax manager Craig Fenton were added to Garza’s case Wednesday. All four men are facing seven charges of fraud in a case that alleges they defrauded the government out of more than $1 billion in taxes.

The Most Interesting Man in Dallas Sells His Rig. Dallas resident Victor Vescovo (who Matt Goodman wrote about two years ago) sold his deep ocean exploration system to marine research group Inkfish. The sale includes the 224-foot Pressure Drop and the deep-diving submersible DSV Limiting Factor. The system will continue to be used for scientific missions and explorations of deep, remote areas of the ocean.

Late Night Flurries Possible Friday. Temperatures Friday are expected to stay in the 40s most of the day, but as a cold front moves through later, rain may develop. As I learned in fifth-grade science class, if it gets cold enough, that can turn to snow. Caveat: There’s only a 10 to 20 percent chance of snow, and not everywhere will see a dip below freezing, so those flurries won’t amount to much, if they happen at all.

Michelle Mackey Painted the Barrow Family Gas Station

Barrow Gas station

Michelle Mackey

Clyde Barrow’s family once owned a service station in West Dallas, at 1221 Singleton Blvd., in a neighborhood called the Devil’s Back Porch. That structure stood until April, when it was hastily bulldozed before the city’s Landmark Commission could intervene.

Given the long lead times of a monthly magazine, I didn’t know how or whether D Magazine could address the matter. (Although Bethany Erickson wrote about it for our website.) But then an artist who has written for us, Laray Polk, alerted me to the fact that another artist in town, Michelle Mackey, had spent years studying and painting and thinking about the Barrow service station. Which is how I came to find myself in Michelle’s studio back in May, looking at some of her work and talking about how she might do something in the pages of the magazine.

The result is a story titled “These Walls Could Talk,” illustrated, in part, with Michelle’s paintings of the Barrow service station. It published in our November issue and went online today.

We waited till this month to publish the story because Michelle has an exhibition of new paintings inspired by Enchanted Rock titled “Beyond Measure” at the Holly Johnson Gallery, in the Design District. It will be up through February 11, but the opening is this Saturday, November 19, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Go here for more details. A taste from the press release:

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Leading Off (11/16/22)

Mayor Johnson Gives State of the City Address. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson used his 46-minute State of the City speech to tout the city’s momentum coming out of the pandemic. He praised voters for passing a proposition to use hotel sales tax revenue to fund a new convention center and repair some Fair Park buildings. He called for more parks, particularly in neighborhoods like Oak Cliff and West Dallas, and again praised Police Chief Eddie Garcia for his work in reducing violent crime. (He also repeated his new favorite phrase, “Big Dallas Energy,” so it appears he’s officially trying to make that A Thing.) There wasn’t a lot new here, but there isn’t usually much new at these city charter-ordered speeches—unless the city’s pension is in crisis, which…

Dallas Police and Fire Pension Has $3 Billion in Unfunded Liabilities. It was just five years ago that the city was flirting with bankruptcy after a run on the police and fire pension helped expose that it was backed by bad real estate deals. On Tuesday, the current City Council was told that the solve from years ago was really just a stopgap. There’s a $3 billion shortfall and the clock is ticking: state law gives the city two years to fix it.

Home Prices Could Tumble by 20 Percent. That’s per the Dallas Fed, whose economist envisioned a “pessimistic” scenario where prices dropped by that much due to the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates 3.75 percent to tamp down inflation.

Grand Prairie Officer Dies Chasing Suspect. The driver fled in a silver Chevrolet Malibu that had fake paper tags. Officer Brandon Tsai gave chase and called for backup. Tsai’s car struck his colleague’s, which sent his patrol car into a pole. Tsai was pronounced dead at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

We Finally Have More Details on Cricket’s Plan to Take Over North Texas

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A rendering of Grand Prairie Stadium, replete with hypothetical fireworks. Photo courtesy of Major League Cricket.

We’ve known for a while that cricket, the world’s second-most popular sport, was coming to North Texas. We’ve also known that its home base would be in Grand Prairie, at the old ballpark of the Texas AirHogs, which HKS is renovating into a cricket only-stadium.

But details were murky beyond that until this morning, when representatives from Major League Cricket, USA Cricket, and the North Texas Cricket Association, among others, convened at (a very, very cold) outdoor ceremony at what will now be called Grand Prairie Stadium to announce a few details. Among them: North Texas will host Major League Cricket’s inaugural game on July 13th to kick off the league’s first season. Eighteen matches will be held over 19 days, culminating in a championship game on July 30.

More Than 900 Bills Were Filed in the Texas Legislature Yesterday. Let’s Take a Look at Some.

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Courtesy: iStock

More than 900 bills were filed in the state House or Senate on Monday, the first day that legislators were able to file ahead of the 88th Legislative session. Lawmakers gavel in at noon on January 10, 2023.

It was a busy first day, largely because the sooner a bill is filed the more likely it is to proceed through the legislative process. The first 30 bills filed in the Senate have been reserved by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to address the GOP’s priorities. In the House, Speaker Dade Phelan reserved the first 20 bills for that body’s GOP priorities. And those priorities are, at this point, secret. That means all the bills that were filed on Monday will be heard after whatever legislation Patrick and Phelan pack in first.

Democrats have filed bills that would create exceptions to the state’s abortion ban by allowing the procedure for sexual assault victims and for the health or welfare of the mother. There are also bills that are clearly influenced by the massacre at Robb Elementary in Uvalde that address the sale of guns.

On the other side of the aisle, Republicans have filed bills seeking to strengthen the state’s legislation of abortion and gender-affirming care. Others explore how to fund—or defund—public schools.

Former State Rep. Jason Villalba says you shouldn’t expect the words “school choice” or “vouchers” to appear in any of the legislation. Instead, he said, look for phrases like “parent empowerment” and bills that would reduce public school funding.

“There are bills that are filed that are meant to appeal to the primary voter, because the conversation among the far right is moving toward the privatization of schools in general and eliminating public schools,” he said. “They know the best way to eliminate public schools is by removing the property tax and moving to some form of sales tax or enrichment tax. They do it every year.”

And while the bills filed the first day generate a lot of talk, Villalba said that many of them are really filed to appease primary voters.

“There is a tremendous amount of disingenuousness among state representatives this time of year,” he said. “Even though it might be something interesting for filing and you can talk about how conservative you are to do this in front of the chamber of commerce meeting or the Republican women’s club, in the end these bills won’t see the light of day and they won’t pass.”

After Gov. Greg Abbott and Patrick easily won re-election last week, Villalba said that Republican legislators are going to feel particularly emboldened to push Texas further right this legislative session.

“What happened on election night suggests that Texas is inoculated from this movement back towards the center that we saw in other parts of the country,” he said. “I think that suggests to the rank-and-file Republican legislator that the state is a strongly conservative state, and you’re seeing that in some of the proposed bills that are coming out today.”

Source https://www.eurogamer.net/playstation-userbase-significantly-larger-than-xbox-even-if-every-cod-player-ditched-sony-microsoft-says

Source https://www.eurogamer.net/playstation-userbase-significantly-larger-than-xbox-even-if-every-cod-player-ditched-sony-microsoft-says

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