Sony Can Only Counter Microsoft’s Game Pass with a Multimedia Subscription Service, Says Analyst

Where does the successful closure of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion leave Sony, easily the most vocal opponent of the merger in the whole games industry? GamesIndustry asked a bunch of analysts, including our friend Karol Severin from MIDiA Research, who suggested that Sony should build a multimedia subscription service as it can’t fight Microsoft head-on in the games department after the acquisition.

Sony has one of the most impressive content catalogs on Earth. Bringing it together in a subscription offering, for example, could pose a solid competitive answer to Xbox’s cross-platform efforts. It will be increasingly difficult to compete with Microsoft on games only. The only response for Sony on the games-only side would be buying something really big like Take-Two, but that is unlikely.

Given Sony’s strengths in TV and movies (with a dedicated PlayStation Productions division that adapts the biggest gaming IPs) and even music catalogs, it’s an interesting take that makes a lot of sense. Truth be told, there have been rumors of something similar ever since Sony acquired Crunchyroll. At the time, it was believed that the yet-to-launch pricier PlayStation Plus tiers would include access to the popular anime-focused streaming service.

Such an offer for PS Plus users didn’t materialize until very recently with the arrival of Sony Pictures Core (formerly Bravia Core) on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 consoles. PlayStation Plus Premium and Deluxe members have gained access to a ‘curated selection of up to 100 movies’ from the Sony Pictures library via the new app. However, the current selection is quite disappointing, to say the least; you can find it here, though it varies a bit depending on the region. In the US, it includes Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, Resident Evil Vendetta, Resident Evil Degeneration, Starship Troopers Invasion, Starship Troopers 3 Marauder, and Looper, to name a few. The only recent movie included appears to be The Covenant.

Needless to say, Severin’s suggestion referred to a much broader, more interesting offering than the one currently available via Sony Pictures Core. We’ll see if Sony ends up expanding it over time.

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