Yesterday, we highlighted a Bloomberg report in which Microsoft President Brad Smith revealed his disappointment with the US Federal Trade Commission for not sitting down with the company to discuss a proposal related to Call of Duty. According to the report, this was an offer for a 10-year legally binding consent degree to make the CoD franchise available on rival gaming platforms, which supposedly was "shrugged off" by the FTC.
That same report also treated us to a few quotes from a recent Microsoft annual shareholders meeting, where the Microsoft President discussed some of the differences between Xbox and PlayStation.
"The FTC’s case is really based on a market that they’ve identified that they say has two companies and two products, Sony PlayStation, and Microsoft Xbox."
Smith went on to suggest that Sony has 70% of the global market and Microsoft has 30% of it. Therefore, he believes a judge will initially have to decide whether the FTC lawsuit will promote competition or instead "protect the largest competitor from competition".
He then also pointed out that PlayStation has 286 exclusive games compared to Xbox's 59 exclusives:
"So the administrative law judge is going to have to decide whether going from 59 to 60 is such a danger to competition that he should stop this from moving forward."
To be honest, we're slightly confused by that last statement — we're not exactly sure what game Smith is referring to when he talks about "going from 59 to 60", as Microsoft has already offered Call of Duty to Sony, Nintendo and Valve. It's probably a hypothetical reference, considering the FTC supposedly took little interest in Microsoft's recent proposal.
In any case, it's an interesting little quote — and Microsoft has been doing this a lot lately, pointing out how PlayStation remains dominant in the console business compared to Xbox.
As for the FTC's position, we haven't heard anything specific since the Commission announced its intention to file a suit against the deal, and it declined to comment to Bloomberg earlier this week on the specifics of any Microsoft offers.