Xbox’s Exit Would Be Worst Outcome For Console Gaming

Too Much Control For Competition Could Be Dangerous!

Story Highlights
  • Recent discussions focus on Xbox’s third-party focus and exclusives heading to other platforms.
  • Amid the chaos, some insiders have suggested Microsoft might even axe the hardware business completely.
  • This would not be great for the gaming industry since PlayStation would be the only one left in the high-end console space.

The Xbox and PlayStation console rivalry has existed for over two decades. While the former has failed to gain the upper hand since the days of the Xbox 360, competition is beneficial for consumers.

As Microsoft and Sony attempt to outplay each other, they deliver better products and avoid mistakes that harm the public. However, recent rumors suggest that Xbox could leave the console market amid Microsoft’s belief that the hardware business is dead.

The result of this move could leave PlayStation as a monopoly and shake the industry at its core, being much more harmful than many expect.

Why it matters: Nintendo is no longer a competitor for PlayStation. Therefore, Xbox’s exit would leave PlayStation unchecked in the high-end console market.

Xbox Exclusive Games

Change In Xbox’s Plans

Reports from last month claimed that Xbox would begin to release a few exclusive titles on other platforms.

Most did not think much of this since Microsoft already released games like Minecraft Legends on PlayStation. However, what started with Hi-Fi Rush and Sea of Thieves suddenly spiraled out of control.

Various insiders believe Starfield, Hellblade 2, Indiana Jones, and Gears are no longer safe from multiplatform releases. I find this move incredibly disappointing.

Xbox’s lineup for 2024 looks to be better than ever, and it now controls Activision Blizzard. For Microsoft to make this move when all the pieces of the first-party puzzle seem to be coming together is surprising.

Phill Spencer will speak on this subject next week. I am hoping that these rumors turn out to be false. If not, everyone cheering this move and celebrating PlayStation’s victory over Xbox could soon be in for a rude awakening.

PlayStation Monopoly Would Be Dangerous

When Xbox was trying to acquire Activision Blizzard, most of the regulators were against it. Even Sony was siding with the regulators, claiming the merger would lead to a monopoly.

This is exactly where the industry would go if Xbox completely abandoned the console space. Glimpses of an overconfident PlayStation were already observed during the beginning of the PlayStation 3 era.

While this console was nothing short of a technical marvel for its time, Sony’s messaging had an air of arrogance that was completely flipped once Microsoft came in strong with the Xbox 360.

The PlayStation 3 launched for $600, and to this day, no console has reached this price point. Back in 2006, $600 was a significant chunk of money for a gaming system, and what did Sony have to say about it?

Ken Kutaragi stated that Sony wanted to create a console that would encourage consumers to ‘work more hours to buy one.’ Microsoft fell into a similar trap with the Xbox One over ten years ago when Don Mattrick told consumers to stick with last-gen hardware if they weren’t ready for always-online systems.

Hellblade 2 PlayStation

What Could Happen?

While PlayStation is nothing like its 2005 era today, the gaming giant has made a few questionable decisions recently.

The PS5 Slim Digital Edition has received a price hike, PS Plus subscription costs have gone up, and I don’t see the same drive to conquer the market from PlayStation that was evident with the PS4 in 2013.

A few of these can be chalked up to poor economic conditions, but the lack of competition will give Sony the freedom to do as it pleases. Therefore, it would not be surprising if AAA games began to cost over $80, and the PS6 launched for $700-800, a higher price than the PS3.

While Nintendo will remain a prominent part of the industry, it pulled out of the hardware race with the release of the Wii U. Therefore, PlayStation no longer considers the company competition in any meaningful form.

For all these reasons and more, I find it outrageous that some would celebrate these rumors without acknowledging the obvious drawbacks.

I hope to see Phil Spencer making a positive announcement next week. Hopefully, both companies will continue competing and deliver even better games for the industry.

Featured Image Credit: Klobrille

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