Skip to main content

Phil Spencer believes Sony wants to shut Xbox down and points to exclusivity deals as proof, including the one PlayStation signed with Square Enix to, as Spencer said, keep Final Fantasy XVI off Xbox. Spencer made the comments while being questioned during the U.S. court hearing with the Federal Trade Commission over the impending Xbox-Activision deal (thanks, The Verge).

“Sony is the market leader with a considerable capability and an aggressive competitor,” Spencer said when asked whether he considers PlayStation an aggressive competitor. “Every time we ship a game on PlayStation... Sony captures 30 percent of the revenue that we do on their platform and then they use that money among other revenue that they have to do things to try to reduce Xbox’s survival on the market,” says Spencer. “We try to compete, but as I said, over the last 20 years we’ve failed to do that effectively.”

The FTC’s lawyer then asked whether Spencer had spoken with Microsoft executives about potentially not putting Activision games on PlayStation platforms.

“I don’t remember a specific conversation, but it would seem like a normal conversation for us to have,” Spencer said.

While Xbox has struck deals to bring Call of Duty and other Xbox games to several platforms, including Nvidia GeForce Now and Nintendo Switch, Sony has reportedly yet to sign such a contract.

The FTC’s lawyer also asked whether Spencer thinks Xbox lost “the console wars.” Spencer said he believes the idea is just a social construct, but admitted he thinks Xbox is in third place, behind PlayStation and Nintendo. Spencer said in a press meeting after the Xbox Games Showcase that he believes Xbox has turned a corner and has double the business it did in the Xbox 360 era.

The FTC hearing is taking place ahead of the Xbox-Activision deal’s intended July closing date. A full evidentiary hearing is planned for August 2023, where the FTC would issue a ruling on whether to approve the deal.