Microsoft CEO Would Love to Get Rid of Console Exclusives Entirely if He Could

Published: June 28, 2023 5:17 PM /


Satya Nadella CEO of Microsoft

The third day of the hearing pitching Microsoft and Activision against the FTC in the case about the pending acquisition is now ongoing, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella presented his testimony.

Nadella did his deposition in person, as shared nu FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller and by Mlex's Michael Acton. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick did the same earlier today.

Nadella was asked to confirm some previous statements in which he claimed leadership in North America for three quarters in a row, alongside other performance assessments. 

Speaking of cloud gaming, Nadella explained that Microsoft doesn't see it strictly as a substitute for consoles as many love their physical devices and use the cloud at the same time. While Microsoft has worked on the cloud for close to a decade, for now, it's not good enough as a substitute for any of the current platforms. According to Nadella, Xbox Live is part of Cloud Gaming and game streaming is an integral part of the experience. 

Nadella then mentioned that as a software company, he always thinks about software first, so he wants to be able to work on all platforms. He also confirmed that Meta asked for a demonstration of xCloud on Meta Quest, but he is not sure whether it actually ended up being part of the Meta Quest launch. He believes it was at least attempted. 

Switching to questioning from Microsoft's own lawyers, Nadella mentioned that he'd get rid of console exclusives if he had his way.

"If it was up to me I would love to get rid of the entire sort of exclusive to consoles."

He then added that the dominant player in the market defined it by using exclusives and he has no love for the word. 

Nadella continued by mentioning that Microsoft doesn't really see gaming as a US market, as it's a worldwide phenomenon. It's the same games, consoles, and smart devices. Of course, they still care about having a market share in the US. He also added that bringing cloud gaming to mobile has been a focus, but also challenging through the browser where native apps were not a possibility.

Asked whether he'll commit to continue shipping Call of Duty on PlayStation, he responded with "one hundred percent." 

if you're unfamiliar with the situation, the FTC has recently obtained a temporary restraining order against the acquisition until the federal court rules on the possible preliminary injunction. You can read our summaries of the first daysecond dayand third day of the hearing.

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Microsoft's appeal against the British CMA's decision to block the acquisition is ongoing, with the hearing starting on July 28. 

Recently, the European Union approved the deal including proposed remedies to level the competitive playing field on the cloud market, which Microsoft agreed to. A few weeks ago, we learned that the deal was approved by the Chinese authority and South Korea's regulator bringing the number of countries that officially cleared the acquisition to 38.

The authority of New Zealand asked for further information addressing its possible concerns on the case in order to come to a conclusion in mid-July.

Featured image source: Microsoft.


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