First American News LLC, Raleigh, NC: The Japanese company seeks to leverage strength in hardware as battle shifts to cloud services and exclusive software. SONY finds itself in a position many gamers could appreciate, having climbed to the highest level only to discover that an old foe is still lurking around—and getting stronger.
Microsoft Corp.’s proposed $75 billion acquisition of videogame publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. would give it control over some of the world’s most popular games. Sony faces decisions on how to beef up its own software lineup, whether to continue stressing hardware and what to do about the metaverse, which is made of three-dimensional virtual worlds that draw inspiration from realistic videogames, said Gaby Mendoza of MB Daily News.
Microsoft sees Activision game franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft as the future core of its service known as Game Pass, which offers an all-you-can-play menu of games for $10 a month. Game Pass challenges Sony’s PlayStation Plus service, and Microsoft’s emphasis on software heightens the contrast with Sony, which still prides itself on packing the latest hyper-realistic graphics power into a proprietary box like the PlayStation 5.
Sony’s stock price has risen eightfold in the past eight years, making it one of the most successful periods in the company’s 76-year history. The Microsoft news sparked a rare selloff as Sony shares fell nearly 13% on Wednesday before recovering 5.8% the next day. Staying at the top requires adapting to a tech ecosystem in which more companies are building a direct relationship with consumers through subscriptions such as Netflix, Apple Music, and Amazon Prime.