During the ongoing Microsoft FTC trial, Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft Gaming, shed light on the absence of a native PlayStation 5 version of Minecraft. In his testimony, Spencer revealed that Sony had been hesitant to provide Microsoft’s Mojang studio with PlayStation 5 development kits ahead of the console’s launch in 2020.
According to Spencer, Sony’s reluctance to send them development kits put Microsoft at a disadvantage compared to other developers who had access to the kits. He expressed his belief that Sony could have easily sent the development kits to Microsoft, just as they did with other publishers.
Despite the lack of a dedicated PS5 version, Minecraft remains playable on the console using the PlayStation 4 version, ensuring that PlayStation players are not excluded from the Minecraft ecosystem this generation.
It is worth noting that the Xbox Series X/S, Microsoft’s own console, also lacks an optimized version of the game, leveling the playing field between the two platforms.
Strategic Considerations and Minecraft Dungeons
During the trial, the FTC raised the point that Microsoft had three years since the PS5’s launch to create a native version of Minecraft for the platform.
In response, Spencer stated that Xbox had explored ways to maximize the success of Minecraft, implying that their strategic decisions regarding platform availability were driven by such considerations.
Additionally, the discussion extended to Minecraft Dungeons, a spin-off title from the main Minecraft franchise. It was revealed that there were initial considerations to release the game exclusively on Xbox One and PC. However, it ultimately became available on all major platforms, including the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.
The Microsoft FTC trial has provided valuable insights into the inner workings of the gaming industry, uncovering details rarely disclosed to the public. Other revelations, such as the possibility of Starfield skipping Xbox prior to Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda, have further highlighted the significance of this trial.
As the trial continues, industry observers eagerly await more revelations that may shape the future of gaming platforms and industry practices.