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Call of Duty could still end up better on PlayStation than Xbox

Microsoft is so desperate to get its Activision Blizzard takeover over the line, it is prepared to make Call of Duty better on PlayStation than Xbox.

In the latest concession to the UK’s competition regulator the CMA, Microsoft says the possibility for haptic feedback within the PS5’s DualSense controller means there’s potential for the PlayStation version to remain kingpin.

Microsoft says future PlayStations would essentially (although not purposefully or enforceably) go “beyond parity” with the Xbox version. That’s in response to Sony’s paranoia Microsoft would deliberately degrade the game to give its consoles a competitive advantage.

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Instead, Microsoft tells the CMA (via VGC), it would be entirely in its interest to produce the best version of Call of Duty possible to encourage more sales.

“As Microsoft will be shipping CoD on PlayStation in compliance with its remedy commitments [redacted], Microsoft will have every incentive to develop games with optimised support for PS5 features, such as haptics, and future consoles in order to maximise sales on the platform,” the company writes in the correspondence.

Microsoft has been doing a charm offensive by signing deals with the likes of Nintendo and Nvidia (as well as smaller cloud gaming providers) to guarantee Call of Duty will be available to those companies for ten years.

Sony is yet to sign such an accord and has its sights set on ensuring the near-$70 billion deal doesn’t make it past regulators. Microsoft has also said a decade should give Sony ample time to built its own first person shooter franchise to replace Call of Duty, should it ever lose access.

“At the Remedies Hearing the CMA asked Microsoft if the 10-year duration is sufficient and whether there would be a ‘cliff edge’ for Sony at the end of this period. The 10- year period is [redacted],” Microsoft wrote. “Microsoft considers that a period of 10 years is sufficient for Sony, as a leading publisher and console platform, to develop alternatives to CoD.

“The 10-year term will extend into the next console generation [redacted]. Moreover, the practical effect of the remedy will go beyond the 10-year period, since games downloaded in the final year of the remedy can continue to be played for the lifetime of that console (and beyond, with backwards compatibility).”

The finagling continues…

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