Sony Is Starting To Unravel With Its Wild Xbox Activision Deal Protests – Forbes
While there are plenty of disingenuous arguments on all sides of the debate around Microsoft’s pending acquisition of Activision, the more time goes on, the more it seems like Sony specifically is starting to lose the plot.
Microsoft is increasingly trying to paint itself as the reasonable party, offering decade-long contracts for Call of Duty to its rivals, including Sony, and using data to try to explain why no, they’re not suddenly going to take the series exclusive.
Sony’s arguments in contrast are…getting pretty absurd. Here’s a new one this past week:
“For example, Microsoft might release a PlayStation version of Call of Duty where bugs and errors emerge only on the game’s final level or after later updates. Even if such degradations could be swiftly detected, any remedy would likely come too late, by which time the gaming community would have lost confidence in PlayStation as a go-to venue to play Call of Duty. Indeed, as Modern Warfare 2 attests, Call of Duty is most often purchased in just the first few weeks of release. If it becomes known that the game’s performance on PlayStation was worse than Xbox, Call of Duty gamers could decide to switch to Xbox, for fear of playing their favorite game at a second-class or class competitive venue.”
To be clear, what Sony is accusing Microsoft of here is having the potential to actively sabotage the PlayStation version of Call of Duty with bugs and errors. That is probably the most unhinged argument I’ve heard during this entire process, and given where we are, that’s really saying something. Not only would Microsoft be literally insane to try something like that, it’s honestly insane for Sony to suggest it as a genuine possibility. This says to me that Sony is running out of legitimate arguments here if there are turning toward actual conspiracies.
And that’s not all. Yesterday, outspoken Activision CCO Lulu Cheng Meservery relayed what she says is a closed-door quote by Sony’s Jim Ryan, which he said during the private meeting in Brussels early this month:
“I don’t want to do a new Call of Duty deal. I just want to block your merger.”
It’s not clear if that’s an exact quote or paraphrasing, but the fact that she’s out there saying he said that is a new level of mud-slinging I haven’t seen before. While it’s true that yes, of course Sony is trying to block the Microsoft deal, hence why any of this is happening in the first place, you wouldn’t just say that out loud.
As I’ve said previously, Sony has no reason to take any Microsoft deal as doing so would likely be a huge point of evidence to get the acquisition approved, though I will say the longer this goes on, the more Sony seems like they are permanently damaging industry relationships. Sony and Microsoft have long liked to pretend the console wars aren’t real on the corporate level, but if you ever needed evidence that they absolutely are, look no further.
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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.
The video game industry’s annual trade show E3 is canceled again as organizers say they will ‘re-evaluate the future’ – Fortune
E3, the annual trade show of the video game industry where upcoming titles are unveiled and showcased, has been cancelled for 2023—and many observers suspect the event might finally be over for good.
The Entertainment Software Association and ReedPop, which had been hired to organize this year’s show, announced the cancellation late Thursday. The news came after a growing number of game publishers, including Microsoft, Nintendo, Ubisoft, and Tencent, announced they would not take part in E3 2023.
Both the physical and digital events were scrubbed. On the E3 Website, the two show organizers declined to address whether they would attempt another gathering next year, saying only “both parties will re-evaluate the future of E3.”
That’s a tremendous U-turn from the hyperbole of the show runners last July, when they claimed E3 2023 would set “a new benchmark for video game expos in 2023 and beyond.”
News on #E32023 from the source. pic.twitter.com/BK7TUlb8mZ
— E3 (@E3) March 30, 2023
The last physical E3 was held in 2019, where attendees were able to get their first hands-on time with Google’s Stadia cloud-streaming service and Microsoft began discussing “Project Scarlett,” which would become the Xbox Series X. (Cyberpunk 2077 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake earned “best of show” honors.)
The ESA cancelled the show in 2020 due to the pandemic and held a digital version in 2021 that met with mixed reactions, at best. In 2022, it once again cancelled both the digital and in person show.
While E3 is dead, the industry is still likely to unveil upcoming games over the course of the summer. Ubisoft plans to host an event (likely online) around the same mid-June time frame E3 was scheduled for. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will likely hold their own showcases. And Summer Game Fest, hosted by Game Awards founder Geoff Keighley, will take place on June 8 in Los Angeles.
While many in the industry are mourning the apparent death of E3, the wheels for the show’s diminishing relevancy were set into motion a decade ago. In 2013, Nintendo broke tradition and announced it would not hold its traditional pre-show press conference, opting instead to talk directly to fans via a Webcast and offering demos of unreleased games at Best Buy stores around the country in conjunction with E3.
That initial Nintendo Direct proved to be an effective way to talk directly to customers, without the filter of the media. In the years since, all of the major console manufacturers have embraced it, as have many third-party publishers, such as EA and Ubisoft.
And even in 2013, some analysts were questioning whether the show could survive.
“With the acknowledgement that most of the growth, in a general sense, in gaming is coming outside of retail, E3 is going to take another tick down,” said John Taylor, who was with Arcadia Research Corp, said at the time. “I think we’re going to start hearing discussions about how important E3 is. … It may end up being too big of a venue.”
GM is phasing out Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in EVs – Yahoo News Australia
Many car makers tout smartphone connectivity as a selling point, but GM won’t in the future. In a Reuters interview, GM digital chief Edward Kummer and executive cockpit director Mike Himche say GM will phase out Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with upcoming electric cars, beginning with the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV. Instead, you’ll have to rely on Android Automotive and its apps.
Users will get eight years of free Google Assistant and Google Maps use at no extra charge, GM says. The company doesn’t mention what you’ll pay if you still need those functions afterward. We’ve asked GM for comment. It will still offer CarPlay and Android Auto in combustion engine models, and you won’t lose access on existing EVs. GM plans an all-electric passenger vehicle line by 2035.
The company argues that Android Automotive provides more control over the experience. There are upcoming driver assistance technologies that are “more tightly coupled” with navigation features, Himche says, and GM doesn’t want them to require a smartphone. Kummer also acknowledged that there are “subscription revenue opportunities.” Don’t be surprised if you’re paying a recurring fee for certain features like you already do with some brands.
Android Automotive has a growing footprint. On top of GM, companies like BMW, Honda, Polestar, Stellantis, Volvo and VW are adopting it with or without Google apps. However, the platform doesn’t preclude support for CarPlay or Android Auto. GM is deliberately dropping those features. While this could lead to some innovative driver aids, it could also force you to mount your phone if there’s an app or function the EV’s infotainment system doesn’t support.
The decision is a blow to Apple. Its services may not have native support in GM EVs. The iPhone maker is also developing a next-gen CarPlay experience that can take over the entire dashboard — GM just ruled itself out as a potential customer. If Apple is going to have more control over your drive, it will have to turn to other marques.
Sega Releases Free Murder Mystery Sonic Game for April Fools’ Day – ComingSoon.net
April Fools’ Day has not yet arrived quite yet in 2023, but that hasn’t stopped Sega from celebrating. The company stealth dropped a new Sonic the Hedgehog game for free called The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog, which lets players solve, as the title says, who killed the Blue Blur.
This game is currently on Steam and takes around 70 minutes to complete. It’s a text-based adventure where players have to piece together clues and use them to prove a suspect’s alibi in order to figure out who “killed” Sonic in a Glass Onion-style murder mystery gone awry. There are also small runner levels where players control Sonic and collect rings while dodging obstacles.
Sega put out a cheeky trailer with the game, too, saying it had “heard the feedback” and was taking the franchise in a whole new direction.
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