What's stopping Microsoft from examining the PS5 Dev Kits after the Zenimax deals goes through?

I Spy With My Little Eye

I thought about this last night. Microsoft will own Zenimax/Bethseda. They are still making at least 2 PS5 timed exclusives with Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo. There’s even a possibility that PS5 version of Starfield exists (if or when it comes out is a different story).

So, when the deal between Zenimax and Microsoft closes, and MS owns everything, they would access to the PS5 dev kits with all the documentation, all the everything. They will have employees who have had longterm hands on experience with it.

So, what’s stopping Microsoft from using that experience and those PS5 Devkits to enhance their own GDK? Figure out what makes the PS5 Dev Kits sing, then apply some of that knowledge to their own kits and code (obviously not entirely because some code may be proprietary, but there is always backwards engineering).

Like for the lack of a better term, the fox is in the henhouse. I mean, if worstcast scenario, Bethseda are only timed exclusive or case-by-case, that would mean Zenimax studios would have to keep PS5 devkits and possibiliy future PS6 devkits. So… they know everything.

  1. The deal hasn’t been completed yet.

  2. Examining PS5 dev kit won’t mean much. Both are completely different OS.

They don’t need PS5 devkit to make their own better, the just need time. Also, they already have them (Minecraft) and Sony already has theirs (MLB).


These companies already know what each other’s dev environments look like. They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The Xbox dev environment has different goals than Playstation’s though. That’s the entire reason they transitioned to a GDK. Just an issue with dev environment being new. Not much they’ll gain from looking at the Playstations mature environment.


NDAs. They still have to honor old agreements. Also, doubtful that they aren’t already aware.

I would be surprised if both companies haven’t had their hands on each others stuff for a very long time.

I mean, they probably have them at Mojang now. Just like Sony San Diego probably has Series X devkits (well, technically we all do. The home model doubles as a devkit and while people praise that for emulation, it is a massive advantage for WFH that goes understated.)


That isn’t how any of this works. The number of people who seem to think video games are like industrial espionage is funny. MS and Sony will both know what each other is doing. They probably have dinners and laugh about it all with each other.


I would just like to echo that Microsoft probably already has what you mentioned via Mojang. There is basically nothing that Microsoft does not know about the PS5 and vice-versa probably. I mean Microsoft knew about the dynamic clocks of the PS5 and the fact it is not full RDNA2 compliant.

In regards to improving their dev environment, the Series consoles have completely different goals than the PS5.

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Mojang. Double Fine.

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Just crack open a dev kit and find that secret sauce.

There isn’t really much for them to gain from them “knowing” ps5 devkits, the ways ps and xbox are different are firmly intentional and not because they dont know what the other is doing.

The OP make me sad in that anyone would think that this is something that Microsoft actually needs to do.

Below: Phil Spencer with the PS5 dev kits


Mojang already has ps5 dev kits, there would be no need. Plus I would imagine double fine has some for psychonauts 2

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I don’t think Microsoft needs to copy Sony’s “homework” in order to improve their own. The software is causing issues in development, I am sure in time, we will see improvements across the board. Patches are hitting the current games, and games where the Xbox performed worse, it now performs better. The tide is already turning. Just give the devs more time, the tech is new.

Both Microsoft and Sony have each other dev kits because they’re both making multiplat games. Microsoft most likely had their kit for minecraft and Sony had theirs with MLB the show which will be multiplat starting next year

There’s nothing special about PS5’s dev kits. It’s bog standard for what it does (just PS4 dev kits with next gen features added). The issue is that MS’s kits are more ambitious, more complex and had to wait on AMD to finalize hardware before DX12U could be brought up to speed for it.



I’m pretty sure MS or Sony can just buy a dev kit if they wanted one. Now where something may come into play is IF Bethesda continues to make multiplatform games, what will occur when it is time for the PS5-Pro or PS6? I’d imagine they wouldn’t be one of the developers getting advanced knowledge of the next hardware from Sony. This is where I think the games will divide off into Xbox exclusivity.

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