Sign up to our Breaking News email to get free real-time breaking news alerts sent straight to your inbox
Sign up to our free breaking news emails
Sony could release a new PlayStation 6 after 2027, its lawyers have suggested.
The hint comes as part of Sony’s response to UK competition and market authorities, which are currently investigating Microsoft’s purchase of Call of Duty developer Activision.
Sony argued that Microsoft buying the developer raised the threat that it could limit the Call of Duty franchise to Xbox. That would give the console an unfair advantage, its rivals claimed, and it suggested the dominance could force Microsoft to raise prices and hurt customers in other ways.
In response, Microsoft said it would keep the Call of Duty franchise on Xbox until 2027 in an effort to limit concerns. But Sony continues to raise concerns and push to cancel the deal.
Those concerns have led to an investigation by UK regulators, who will determine whether Activision should go ahead with the acquisition.
In its latest filing with those regulators, Sony said the 2027 deadline would mean the next generation of PlayStation consoles could launch without a Call of Duty game, putting it at a disadvantage. This suggests that the PlayStation 6 is due to launch after that date.
There is no indication that the lawyers who wrote the document have information on any upcoming consoles, and the schedule may only be based on the timing of previous new console releases. But it does at least suggest that Sony is already concerned about the future generation of its PlayStation.
“Microsoft has offered to continue making Activision’s games available on PlayStation through 2027,” reads Sony’s filing with the CMA. “Similarly, in public comments on October 26th, Microsoft said it plans to offer Call of Duty on PlayStation ‘as long as it makes sense’.”
It then names a time when the console’s “possible” release will arrive. Although that part has been redacted as a trade secret, wording suggests the date should read after 2027.
“By the time [Sony] It has launched the next generation of PlayStation consoles (which could almost happen [redacted]), it would lose access to Call of Duty and other Activision titles, making it highly vulnerable to consumer switching and subsequent deterioration in its competitiveness.”
It then used the example of EA’s relatively unsuccessful Battlefield franchise to show that creating a new contender for Call of Duty would prove difficult.
“Even assuming SIE has the ability and resources to create a similarly successful franchise to Call of Duty, it will take many, many years and billions of dollars to create a challenger to Call of Duty – and EA’s Battlefield example shows that any such attempt is doomed to failure. More likely.”