PlayStation parent company Sony is being targeted by US because of the company’s gaming dominance over Microsoft in Japan. Through PlayStation, Sony’s presence in Japan has trumped Xbox’s attempts to perform in the country, but Congress believes there’s something sinister behind their tactics.
According to Axios, policymakers told the president’s officials their concerns about Sony’s business practices in Japan. Claims were made about the company’s hold on Japan’s games industry and how that’s prevented US companies, like Microsoft, from having a foothold in it.
“Today, we write to bring to your attention the imbalanced Japanese video game market, which we are concerned may be a result of a discriminatory trade practice that could violate the spirit of the U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement,” states one of the letters, signed by four Republicans, including Carol Miller (R-W.Va.) and Mike Carey (R-Ohio).
It’s common knowledge that Xbox is dead in the water when it comes to Japanese sales. Microsoft did try to have a bigger presence in Japan, including publishing high-quality JRPGs for the Xbox 360, but it’s failed to gain a foothold in the region. Obviously, Microsoft hasn’t given up on the Japanese market, but one has to wonder if Sony is more responsible for that than we think.
“Sony’s anti-competitive tactics deserve discussion, and we welcome further investigation to ensure a level playing field in the video game industry,” Microsoft spokesperson David Cuddy told Axios.
Funnily enough, Nintendo isn’t mentioned by Congress, despite regularly outselling both Sony and Microsoft in Japan. Considering how well the Nintendo Switch is doing in most countries, one can only assume how much better it sells in Japan. Then again, Nintendo isn’t suing Microsoft for purchasing Activision Blizzard so that’s probably why.
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Expect more news on Sony and Microsoft’s squabbles with each other in the future, especially with all this new information.
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