“Sony will have a monumental challenge on its hand to stand its own in this war of attrition,” wrote Amir Anvarzadeh, a market strategist at Asymmetric Advisors who recommends shorting the stock, in a note to clients.
Shares in Japan’s Sony Group fell 9% on Wednesday subsequent to gaming rival Microsoft said it will purchase developer Activision Blizzard in a record $68.7 billion deal for the business. While Sony’s PlayStation is broadly seen as having a lead in the generational fight with Microsoft’s Xbox, the acquisition of the “Call of Duty” creator comes as Microsoft is aggressively extending its Game Pass subscription service. Sony has reinforced its organization of in-house games studios in late year and conveyed a string of exclusive hits remembering for its “Spider-man” franchise, with Microsoft left playing get up to speed.
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Sony is a pioneer in virtual reality and announced a few teasing details this month of its next generation headset, but deep pocketed and non-traditional players such as Facebook owner Meta Platforms are investing in the metaverse, or virtual online worlds.
PlayStation is a major source of revenue for Activision, complicating any potential decision by Microsoft to remove titles from Sony systems and squeeze its rival.
Many industry observers believe operability across multiple platforms is essential for the success of a metaverse where users can game, shop and work freely as advances in cloud technology weaken ties to the bulky gaming hardware that made Sony and Microsoft industry gatekeepers.
“If Microsoft continues to provide these games to (the PlaySation) platform as well, that would indicate that it may be positioning itself for metaverse in the long-term,” Jefferies analyst Atul Goyal wrote in a client note.
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