Last Week In PlayStation #17 | Microsoft Claims Sony Is Paying To Block Games From Xbox Game Pass, Ghost Of Tsushima Movie Set To Be Japanese Language Only, And Spider-Man PC Falls Second Best To God Of War

Hello and welcome to the seventeenth edition of Last Week In PlayStation, the weekly PlayStation newsletter here on platyview.com. 

Publishing every Monday evening India time (early evening Central European time and late morning Pacific time), the series will round up all of last week's PlayStation news and other happenings into one single article. 

This edition will cover all PlayStation news from 8th August '2022 to 14th August '2022.

Ladies and gentlemen, I did it. I finally wrote a creative piece for the first time since April. An impressions piece on Crash Bandicoot 4. Anyways, I hope this opens the floodgates for The Last of Us and Miles Morales reviews. 

In other news, I started playing Yakuza: Like A Dragon. Only 45 minutes in as of the time of writing, but I think I like where this game is heading. Getting used to the Japanese voice acting might take some time, as will the turn-based combat, but I am excited for what's to come next. 

Also, I am a day late this week too. But last week's article got more views than usual so maybe it's a good thing? Here is what went down in the world of PlayStation last week. 

Microsoft Claims Sony Is Paying To Block Games From Xbox Game Pass 

Source: Xbox & PlayStation

Last week's headline story was Sony's comments to Brazilian regulators regarding Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Sony put up a vehement stance against the deal, citing it as an anti-consumer move with a focus on Call of Duty's new ownership. 

Resetera user Idas, who was the original discoverer of last week's news, is back again, this time with word about follow-up comments from Microsoft. In his post, he notes that Microsoft responded to comments from all parties who spoke to the regulator, especially Sony. Here are some of the notable ones. The post goes really in-depth so check that out for the full picture.

Right out of the gate, Microsoft fires one straight at Sony, saying in part, "not surprisingly, Sony was the only third party to convey public opinion materially different from Microsoft/Activision Blizzard King and the third parties regarding the competitive analysis of the transaction." 

Microsoft then goes on to explain that Sony's solo stance against this deal is to do with the fact that Xbox Game Pass was launched as a direct response to the Xbox One's bitter defeat to the PS4 in the previous generation's "console wars", and 'need to offer players additional value compared to the "buy-to-play" traditional model.' Microsoft notes that through Game Pass, Xbox 'threatens to compete more effectively with the buy-to-play model, which Sony has successfully adopted.' 

They say, verbatim: 

"In short, Sony is not resigned to having to compete with Microsoft's subscription service. Sony's public outcry on subscription games and the company's response are clear: Sony doesn't want attractive subscription services to threaten its dominance in the market for digital distribution of console games. In other words, Sony rails against the introduction of new monetization models capable of challenging its business model."

Microsoft then goes on to challenge Sony's point about Call of Duty being a 'genre of its own,' and that the franchise is 'essential' for PlayStation. In short, Microsoft explains that Call of Duty can't be counted as a 'separate market' since the series having a loyal following isn't noteworthy evidence for calling it a genre. In response to the 'COD is essential' part, Microsoft notes that 'in 2021 only two Activision Blizzard titles ranked among the 20 best-selling console games of the year.'

They also note that Sony's comment about a Call of Duty deal being Game Pass anti-competitive is unsubstantiated since 'until now none of the Activision Blizzard titles have been included in Game Pass, but the service has managed to attract and engage millions of players.' They state that Sony is 'apprehensive about the increased competition on the merits that the transaction entails, rather than worried about any anti-competitive effect.' 

Microsoft also notes that Sony shouldn't be worried about Microsoft's plans to remove content from players in the form of console exclusivity, reiterating its 'desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.'

Now for the most interesting part though. Microsoft says that it is struggling to grow Game Pass due to 'Sony's desire to inhibit such growth.' They cite the fact that Sony pays developers and publishers not to add their games to Xbox Game Pass and other subscription services. This matches up with rumours earlier this year about Sony buying Capcom out of any future deal to put Resident Evil Village on Game Pass. 

I think that paying to keep stuff exclusive is fine because everyone does it all the time. PlayStation does it, Nintendo does it, and Xbox certainly does it too. To sell their systems - or subscriptions - these companies need to offer content that players want and incentivise them to buy into only their respective platform or ecosystem. 

As to Microsoft's other comments, I think they make sense. Last week I noted how Sony's comments seemed like a last-ditch attempt to stop this deal from going through, an attempt that I see no way of ever actually working.

Ghost Of Tsushima Movie Set To Be Japanese Language Only

Source: PlayStation

It seems like, as per the director Chad Stahelski's wishes, the upcoming Ghost of Tsushima movie is going to be Japanese language only. Website Collider interviewed the director of the upcoming PlayStation Production's film, and there are some new details to share.

First off, Stahelski notes that he plans to 'film the movie in Japanese.' He cites a major influence of legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa while describing the movie as a 'fantasy period piece'. What he means by this, we don't know exactly, but hopefully, it's only a slight fleshing out of Ghost of Tsushima's more mythological elements and not a complete fantasy spin on the game.

About the movie's Japanese roots, Stahelski says: 

"And honestly, we'd to try to do it, all in character. Meaning, it's a Japanese thing about the Mongols invading Tsushima island. A complete Japanese cast, in Japanese. Sony is so on board with backing us on that. I've been going to Japan since I was 16. I have a love of the country, love of the people, love of the language. To try to direct not only in my language, but someone else's and culturally shift my mindset to bring apart that in a cool way that still entices a Western audience."

He notes that money won't be pouring in for a high-quality "technology-push" movie that will only be in Japanese, so he and the team must get 'clever and figure out what's fiduciarily responsible to the property, to the studio and still get what I want out of it and still make it something epic.'

The reason Stahelski and Sony are committing to a Japanese language movie: subtitles. He notes that more and more people are getting accustomed to watching different language movies and shows using subtitles, citing the popularity in the west of various animes and stuff like Squid Game. Also streamers. 

"Will they show up in the theaters for that? I'm banking on yes, if everything else is there. I think it could hurt me or hurt the property if you're failing a little less in each, visually it's not great, the action is okay, the story is not clear. Look, if I nail all the other bits, I think I can inspire you enough to get in the car and go to the theater.”"

Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered Hits Big On PC, But Falls Second Best To God Of War

Source: Steam

Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered launched on PC last week, and Insomniac's rendition of the popular webhead is doing pretty well for itself. According to BenjiSales, data from Steam shows that the game's pre-orders were the #1 global best-seller on Steam prior to launch. He also notes that 'the game placed Top 5 every week in the Weekly Top Sellers [charts] since pre-orders started.' 

A recipe for success I guess? Yes. Well mostly at least.

On August 14th, two days after release, the game's peak concurrent players on Steam was 64,893. While great numbers, God of War's PC port had an all-time peak of 73,529 concurrent players during its initial phase of launch back in January of this year. 

But alas, despite the game's peaking again on 15th August, rising up to 66,436 concurrent players, it fell short of God of War's lofty heights. BenjiSales notes that this lack of sales could be due to the game costing a full $60 instead of the $50 that God of War costs on PC.

Despite this though, Spider-Man has likely made more money than its Santa Monica sibling due to its higher price on PC storefronts. Still, Sony has hit another jackpot with its drive forward into the PC space.

The game's port, developed by recently acquired PC-specialists Nixxess Software, seems to be of excellent quality. The game's PC version sits at an 87 on Metacritic. 

It's hard to tell whether The Last of Us Part I will break God of War's record when it comes to PC concurrent player numbers. But what is for sure is that Sony certainly made the right decision when it decided to open the floodgates for first-party games on PC.

Other Bits And Pieces:

Source: Wikipedia

  • Legend of Dragoon, the PS1 RPG that has garnered a cult following across the internet, might be heading to PlayStation Plus Premium. PushSquare reports on a Reddit post by u/FapFappityFapper that points at Shuhei Yoshida's Twitter account. PlayStation's head of Indies retweeted a 2019 tweet from the game's original composer, indicating that the game may be returning in some form. What is even more substantial is that Yoshida pulled a reverse on this retweet, meaning he might have let out more than he was supposed to. You can see his retweet on the Reddit post, and this might just satisfy the cravings of the die-hard Legend of Dragoon fans who for years now have been yearning for their beloved game to get a long-anticipated remake. 

  • Speaking of PC, there is now a page on the PlayStation website solely dedicated to PC releases. The page displays PlayStation games that are available on PC, such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Days Gone, God of War, and last week's Marve's Spider-Man: Remastered. It also highlights upcoming games. As of now, the page only shows Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection in this section, but we can expect it to be updated as more games inch towards PC. 

  • Spotify seems to be getting a native PS5 application. This was spotted by Twitter account PlayStation Game Size, who notes that previously PS5 players could only use the PS4 app through backwards compatibility. What this native app brings is unknown, but it's cool nonetheless. Last week, it was also spotted, this time by Reddit user r/the_andshrew, that a native Disney+ app is coming to PS5. The case is the same with Disney's streaming service, in that it was previously only usable through the backwards compatible PS4 app. 

That is all for this week's edition of last week in PlayStation. Thank you for reading. See you next time! Goodbye.

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