Microsoft will do “very well” in the next generation of consoles when compared to the current era that saw the Xbox One face stiff competition from Sony’s PlayStation 4, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has predicted. In an interview with Protocol, Zelnick explained that Microsoft’s strategy to acquire multiple game studios would result in healthier competition between the two console brands.
“So far it looks to me as though they’re both approaching this launch very aggressively. We’ve always worked happily with both parties,” he said. “We would like to see both be very successful. In certain parts of the world, as you know, Sony had a preferred position last time around. I think Microsoft is working very, very hard to see that that’s not repeated. I think it will be a challenge in Asia, where Sony’s dominated. But if I had to guess, I think Microsoft is going to do very well.”
Zelnick also spoke about subscription services like Xbox Game Pass, which briefly included Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto V in its library at one point. The CEO said that Take-Two would be more selective of which business models the company will make use of in the future.
“Front-line products are incredibly valuable, and Take-Two’s front-line products are frankly and actually the most valuable in the business,” Zelnick said. “We have the highest hit ratio in the business. We have the best-performing titles in the business, and we will be selective about what business models work for us.”
As for Sony, Zelnick expects PlayStation 5 marketing to focus heavily on content that’s exclusive to that console. “I think you’re going to see that [Sony] will be very aggressive on the content side and on the marketing side,” Zelnick explained. “They are going to focus, as they always do, on aiming at an advantage on the content side. But Microsoft’s trying to do the same thing; as you know, Microsoft has bought some studios. There’s a lot of stuff that they own and control. Perhaps they’ll do more of that. They have a great balance sheet.”
The Xbox Series X and Series S launches on November 10, with preorders beginning from September 22. Microsoft is pricing the Xbox Series S at $300 and the Xbox Series X at $500, a low price for next-gen consoles that Xbox CFO Tim Stuart says will make it easier to get people into the Xbox ecosystem.