The ongoing FTC hearings into Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard have revealed a number of critical details about the alleged antitrust case that would not have been known without FTC involvement.
One such document, which is being regarded as evidence, reveals that Microsoft anticipates the release of the next-generation PlayStation console—likely dubbed the PlayStation 6—and the next mainline Xbox in 2028, as reported by IGN.
Microsoft is most likely already working on the next-generation console, which is why they are able to discuss it in the FTC document. Microsoft and Sony have historically released their home gaming consoles within the same launch window.
Microsoft’s $69B Activision Blizzard merger FTC hearings reveal PlayStation 6 and Xbox 2028 launches.
The PlayStation 5 was released two days after the Xbox Series X/S, on November 12, 2020. The PlayStation 4 was released on November 15, 2013, and the Xbox One followed on November 22.
Clearly, both companies intend to issue their consoles during the holiday season, in close proximity to one another. If Xbox plans to release the next-generation Xbox Series console in 2028, Sony may follow suit.
During the FTC hearing, Phil Spencer, the CEO of Xbox, stated that Xbox is third in the gaming console market, behind Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo. In addition, he asserted that Sony is actively attempting to place Xbox out of business.
Sony reportedly attempted to secure an exclusivity agreement for the game on the PlayStation 5 before Xbox acquired Bethesda, the game’s publisher.
In related news, in a separate litigation, a purported internal Microsoft email, which is evidence in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court, suggests that one of Microsoft’s motivations for attempting to acquire Activision-Blizzard is “to eliminate its primary competitor, the Sony PlayStation.”