Xbox admits Japan is a blowout with a 96% lead for PlayStation consoles

Xbox Series S
(Image credit: Microsoft)

In defense of its pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft has cited Sony's "remarkably steady" console market share, with Japan showing an especially brutal gap between PlayStation and Xbox. 

Speaking at a press conference which GamesRadar+ attended, Microsoft vice chairman Brad Smith addressed concerns from Sony and regulators that Xbox's Activision deal is anti-competitive.

"Think about the market in Europe. It is a market where Sony has an 80% share and Xbox has a 20% share. Globally, it is about 70/30. In Japan, it is 96/4," Smith said. "These numbers have been remarkably steady for two decades. Even last year, when there were issues with Sony's supply chain, they came back strong."

"By our calculation, on a global basis, Sony outsold Microsoft in the fourth quarter by a margin of 69 to 31, [which is] pretty much consistent with the global market shares we've seen for 20 years."

Smith went on to argue that Sony is fighting to block the Xbox Activision merger in order to protect its leading position in the market.

"We understand in some ways it can be tempting when you have an 80% share [to hope you can] hold on as long as possible ... I don't think that's what regulators are in the business of doing," said Smith. "They're not here to protect super dominant companies."

Microsoft also announced today that it's bringing Call of Duty to 150 million new players thanks to deals with Nintendo and Nvidia. We've yet to hear the latest in the company's negotiations with its primary competitor, Sony.

Whether the deal ultimately goes through and Activision officially becomes part of Xbox Game Studios is still anyone's guess.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.