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Microsoft and Sony don’t expect next-gen consoles until 2028 at the earliest, documents show

Newly released documents show that Microsoft and Sony are expected to launch the next generation of consoles only in 2028 at the earliest.

The two companies discussed the potential timing of the launch of the new console in a statement released Wednesday as part of an ongoing investigation into Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard by British regulator the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The CMA is concerned about the impact the $68.7 billion deal could have on PlayStation’s ability to compete, given that Microsoft would gain ownership of the Call of Duty franchise after the acquisition. The regulator said, “This impact could be particularly pronounced at the launch of the next generation of consoles, as gamers make new decisions about which console to buy.”

Sony and Microsoft both launch their current-gen consoles, the PS5 and Xbox Series X / S, respectively, in November 2020. in its response to the CMA’s concerns, Microsoft said it is many years away from the launch of next-generation consoles and claimed that any impact of the Activision deal is speculative.

Microsoft said, “There is no dispute between the parties [Microsoft and Activision] that some gamers may reevaluate their console purchase options when the next generation of consoles launches. But they also note that this is an event that only happens about every eight years, and that the next generation of new consoles is not expected to be released until the fall of 2028.”

Sony sees a very real threat that Microsoft will make “Call of Duty” an Xbox exclusive, while Microsoft claims it has little commercial incentive to do so.

Microsoft’s statement also confirms that it has made a contract offer to Sony to make Call of Duty available on PlayStation “until at least the end of 2027. Even if Microsoft does intend to remove Call of Duty from the PlayStation platform after 2027, Microsoft believes that “Sony has had plenty of time to adjust its business strategy.

In its partially edited statement, Sony also cited Microsoft’s offer to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation until 2027 and how that could affect the fate of its next console. “Microsoft’s offer to continue to make Activision games available on PlayStation until 2027 …… will leave SIE without Call of Duty and other Activision games when it launches its next-generation PlayStation console, leaving it highly vulnerable to consumers changing their console choices and subsequently becoming less competitive,” Sony wrote.

Sony added that “even assuming SIE had the capacity and resources to develop a successful game series similar to Call of Duty, it would take many, many years and billions of dollars to create a Call of Duty challenger, and the example of EA’s Battlefield suggests that any such effort would likely be unsuccessful.”

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