Ahh, the console wars, a concept that many gamers are familiar with, and one that now has a new curious party seeking change: the US government. First reported by Axios, 10 members from the House of Representatives sent letters to the US trade representatives and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, citing concerns over Sony taking advantage of Japan’s government inaction to profit from its country of origin.
One of these letters states that Sony holds 98% of the “high-end console market” in Japan, that Sony signs deals to keep Japanese games off the Xbox platform, and also claims these actions might be in violation of Japan’s anti-trust laws. Funnily enough, Nintendo is not included in this “high-end console market” discussion, even though it owns the biggest market share in Japan.
“The Japanese government’s effective policy of non-prosecution when it comes to Sony appears to be a serious barrier to U.S. exports, with real impacts for Microsoft and the many U.S. game developers and publishers that sell globally but see their earnings in Japan depressed by these practices,” the letter partially says.
Although no official word has come yet, it is likely this pressure from US officials is directly tied to Sony’s ongoing efforts to block Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard. Axios reported that its government affairs team discussed “these issues” with members of Congress.