Windows vs. Xbox is the New Epic vs. Apple

Epic vs. Apple has dragged Microsoft and Xbox into the fray. This leads to plenty of new questions and allegations that are yet to be answered.

Epic Games vs. Apple went to trial on May 3, 2021. Since then, the trial has revealed a lot of information about the inner workings of these giants. The latest development is that Apple’s attorney’s issued a warning to Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. Apple claims that their business models are fundamentally the same. “If Epic prevails, other ecosystems will fall, too,” maintains Apple.

What’s it All About?

Epic Games introduced an alternative payment method for Fortnite. As a result, Apple’s App Store removed the game. Epic Games did this to prevent the 30% cut Apple was getting. Consequently, Epic Games hit Apple with a lawsuit, accusing them of illegal app monopoly.

Apple maintains that saying iOS violates antitrust laws would imply that every major game console is an unlawful monopoly. This was when Apple issued warnings to Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.

However, Epic called Microsoft Xbox’s business development head, Lori Wright, as a sympathetic witness. Wright divided computing devices into “special purpose” and “general purpose,” classifying iPhones into the latter.

Wright stated that the Xbox is a special-purpose device. “The Xbox is designed to give you a gaming experience. People buy an Xbox because they want to play games”. As a result, Microsoft keeps control over what users can access. Wright pointed out that users could get games in different ways on Windows.

The Future of App Store

Epic Games lists profits as a major difference between iPhones and gaming consoles. Furthermore, Wright states that no Xbox console sale is profitable. This means that revenue generation depends on online game sales and service subscriptions. Microsoft confirmed this fact.

In fact, Epic argues that console makers lose money on hardware, unlike Apple. This means that they have to plan around attracting developers and app makers.

However, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers did pose some questions that indicated she seemed skeptical about the division between general and specific devices.

In fact, with Wright and Microsoft, Apple has a good comparison to make. Microsoft is a computing company with two different versions of a product. Apple hopes to give a good response to Epic Games’ statement that iOS should be similar to macOS.