Nvidia – Microsoft has been on a roll with its artificial intelligence breakthroughs in 2023, and it now appears that the corporation will continue to triumph.
On Tuesday, the tech titan announced that it will add Xbox PC games to Nvidia’s cloud gaming service.
According to reports, the gaming chipmaker objected to a huge gaming deal.
The announcement came after Microsoft President Brad Smith met with European Union officials on Tuesday.
His attempts to persuade them that Activision Blizzard’s proposed $69 billion acquisition would increase competition dominated the discussion.
To avoid the merger being declared illegal, Microsoft vowed reconciliation, thereby expanding its gaming market, which accounts for 9% of total revenues.
Despite dwindling Xbox console sales, Microsoft has expanded its game collection and enabled consumers to play through Microsoft cloud data centers.
Brad Smith said at a press conference that Xbox titles will be available instantaneously on Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud game services.
Smith indicated that following the acquisition of Activision, all Activision Blizzard titles would be accessible on GeForce Now.
In a joint statement, Microsoft and Nvidia announced a 10-year deal, putting Nvidia in the same regulatory boat as Microsoft’s proposed purchase.
According to Bloomberg, Nvidia has voiced concerns to the US Federal Trade Commission regarding the Activision deal.
Nvidia’s senior vice president of GeForce, Jeff Fisher, stated:
“Combining the incredibly rich catalog of Xbox first party games with GeForce Now’s high-performance streaming capabilities will propel cloud gaming into a mainstream offering that appeals to gamers at all levels of interest and experience.”
“Through this partnership, more of the world’s most popular titles will now be available from the cloud with just a click, playable by millions more gamers.”
In January 2022, Microsoft proposed acquiring Activision Blizzard, but the deal has since been rejected by regulators in the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom.
The Nvidia agreement, according to Brad Smith, is essential because it allows Microsoft to resolve a number of regulatory issues.
In November, the European Commission initiated an extensive investigation into the transaction, voicing concerns that it might hinder competition in the video game sector.
Last year, the EU Commission voiced concern that if the deal goes through, Microsoft may restrict access to the game on other platforms.
The commission is also worried that Microsoft would gain an unfair advantage in cloud gaming.
Microsoft has launched the Game Pass service, which costs $9.99 a month and provides gamers with access to a wide number of titles.
The acquisition of Activision would allow them to bring high-profile titles to Game Pass.
Nvidia’s GeForce Now service has more than 25 million users.
Microsoft, on the other hand, claimed to have 25 million Game Pass subscribers.
Nvidia offers both free and premium GeForce Now tiers, with the latter offering a higher resolution.
GeForce Now subscribers may stream games purchased from Microsoft’s app store, as well as titles purchased from Epic Games and Steam’s app shops, across the cloud.
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The ten-year commitment
When Microsoft purchased Activision, it agreed to provide Call of Duty to Nintendo for a 10-year period.
Many saw the comment as an attempt to assuage antitrust authorities’ worries.
Moreover, Smith tweeted on Tuesday that the two have signed a formal 10-year legal agreement to make Call of Duty available to Nintendo fans on the same day Microsoft’s Xbox was released.
The Microsoft CEO also remarked that the purchases of Nintendo and Nvidia help gaming competition.
“I think if you’re a competition regulator and you’re focused on the interests of consumers and competition, today was a good day,” said Smith.
Regulators eye the deal
European officials aren’t the only ones concerned about the merger; officials in the United States and the United Kingdom are as well.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority claimed earlier this month that the merger will exacerbate competition difficulties, resulting in higher prices, fewer alternatives, and less innovation.
According to the regulator, the transaction might be halted, and Microsoft’s choices include divesting the Call of Duty brand.
Smith, on the other hand, claimed that the firm does not need to sell the Call of Duty game.
“It just isn’t something that seems to be lining up,” said Smith.
“The only reason to sell it off is the CMA’s potential concern that if we buy it, we won’t provide it to others as broadly.”
“I think that concern should be dispelled by the two agreements we’ve signed today.”
In an attempt to block the Activision merger, the FTC filed an antitrust case against Microsoft in December.
Alphabet, Google’s parent firm, was plainly dissatisfied with the Microsoft purchase and filed a complaint with the FTC.
“The European Commission asked for our views in the course of their inquiries into this issue,” said a Google spokesperson.
“We will continue to cooperate in any processes, when requested, to ensure all views are considered.”
Although not responding to the charges, Alphabet’s worries were addressed by Brad Smith, who stated:
“It’s easy to understand that Google might have questions about whether something like Call of Duty would be available in the future on, say, Chromebooks and the Chrome operating system.”
Image source: PCMag