Microsoft vs. FTC Emails Reveal Xbox’s Reaction to PS5 Reveal

Over the past two decades or so, the world of console gaming has been mostly dominated by two industry giants, both in direct competition with each other – Sony & Microsoft.

Sony took a big step up from it’s previous gen console in 2020, with the release of the PS5 – at a time when the average consumer’s console decision wasn’t solely measured in pixels but also on the device’s ability to deliver a smoother, more natural overall gaming experience.

On the other hand, Xbox’s flagship console, the Series X, was also released later in the same month. However, during this period, Microsoft had engaged in internal discussions, showcasing how the company closely monitored the launch of PS5.

Now, newly acquired emails from the Microsoft vs. FTC case appear to reveal the reactions within the green camp when their rival console was announced.

A snippet from PS5’s reveal | Sony

After the announcement of the PS5, Xbox executive Elizabeth Hamren briefed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Xbox chief Phil Spencer on what the new console from Sony had to offer, primarily focusing on its specs.

She also discussed how the PS5 had a clear advantage in terms of SSD performance, especially since it was optimized for higher raw throughput, and how it had the upper hand in allowing compatibility with any NVMe drive, as opposed to Xbox’s use of proprietary, often expensive ones.

Microsoft’s reaction to the PS5 reveal | US Courts

The reaction of Microsoft to the PS5 reveal, as seen within the mail, clearly highlighted Hamren’s points. She also mentioned that the Boost” mode on the PS5, running at variable CPU and GPU clocks, was not superior to what Xbox offered with its ‘higher sustained clocks.

While most of the email content was redacted, these small excerpts provide some insight into the company’s thoughts regarding its direct competitor. However, there is more to the story. Some emails also revealed that Xbox chief Phil Spencer treated himself to an PlayStation 5 last year.

Microsoft’s Xbox chief bought a PS5 last year.

Spencer, while incorrectly referring to the Horizon Zero Dawn bundle (when it was, in reality, Horizon Forbidden West bundle), talked about how Sony has been bundling these games for quite a while.

Some documents also revealed that due to Sony’s price hike back in September 2022 and Xbox’s declining sales, Spencer decided to postpone Xbox’s own price hike to attract more users. Apparently, he wanted team green to remain more “gamer-friendly.”

all good points, let’s be gamer obsessed here as we have not gotten out of the woods… we know this could be our time to win fans vs lose being a follower.

Ami Silverman’s (Head of Microsoft’s Consumer Sales and Marketing Departments) reply to Spencer

Well, Microsoft did end up hiking the prices of it’s own consoles and Game Pass subscription service earlier this year, but did they catch up?

This is all we know for now, but rest assured that we will keep you updated as new information becomes available.


Muhammad Qasim

Qasim's deep love for technology and gaming drives him to not only stay up-to-date on the latest developments but also to share his informed perspectives with others through his writing. Whether through this or other endeavors, he is committed to sharing his expertise and making a meaningful contribution to the world of tech and gaming.