Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Courtesy of Sony Interactive Entertainment.

PlayStation’s competition goes far beyond its gaming rivals, Sony’s head of PlayStation Jim Ryan told Axios.

Why it matters: With entertainment converging on every screen imaginable, old distinctions between the business of games, movies, streaming and even social media are becoming less relevant.

  • “We are an entertainment company with a community of more than 100 million gamers with really extraordinary levels of commitment and engagement,“ Ryan told Axios when asked how he defines PlayStation and its competition.
  • “I would say unequivocally that we are competing for leisure hours, and that any definition of competition has to extend way beyond the boundaries of what has traditionally been defined as gaming,” he said.

The big picture: Sony supplemented its splashy and largely successful November launch of the PS5 with news this spring that it plans to expand its key franchises into at least 10 new movies and shows.

Sony’s PS5 console is off to a hot start in its first seven months, but market leaders in previous video game console generations have struggled or outright failed in subsequent ones, something Sony is doing its best to avoid.

  • Sony is learning from one one of the PS4’s few shortcomings, a lack of hot games early.
  • “Yes, the output during the PS4 cycle was excellent,” Ryan said, referring to a slew of critically acclaimed blockbuster games that were exclusive to Sony’s previous console, “but the great majority of those games came in the second half of the cycle.” 
  • Sony ramped up game production early for PS5, with multiple exclusive games at launch followed by April’s “Returnal” and June’s “Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.”

Sony’s biggest PlayStation challenge doesn’t seem to be making games for the PS5, but getting consoles to customers.

  • The company says it shipped a record 7.8 million PS5s by the end of March, but demand is high, production is squeezed by chip shortages and consoles are tough to find.
  • “This really frustrates me and upsets me, especially when resellers and bots manage to get their hands on stock,” Ryan said.
  • Sony is “working incredibly hard” with retail partners to get PS5s into “the right hands,” he said, and pointed to Sony’s own distribution service, “PlayStation Direct” as a way to help that along. That U.S. program will expand to Europe before the end of March 2022.

Sony is also targeting an expansion to mobile, as it joins other console gaming powerhouses in craving the bigger mobile market. It will have something to show there soon, Ryan teased.

  • “The thinking here is that our IP portfolio is in such a strong state right now, it seems perverse to restrict enjoyment of it to our existing PlayStation community,” Ryan said.
  • Sony listed an opening for a head of PlayStation Mobile earlier this year. Asked about the state of that role and whether Sony would focus on studio acquisition or developing expertise in-house to make mobile games, Ryan said: “We are working on a number of models to open up mobile. You’ll see the first fruits of this sooner than you might think.”

PlayStation made news last December for a game it decided to not sell. In December, it delisted the highly anticipated but surprisingly buggy third-party game “Cyberpunk 2077.”

  • “This was a tough decision for us to make, but ultimately, we had to act in the interests of the PlayStation Community, and not knowingly sell a game that might result in a bad experience for them," Ryan said.
  • Sales of the game have suffered, its studio, CD Projekt, has said. The studio is in ongoing discussion with Sony to bring it back.
  • Ryan offered no details about what it’ll take for the game to return.

What’s next: After “Ratchet & Clank,” the PS5’s future is a little less clear, but PlayStation overall is set to greatly expand.

  • Sony’s next, big promoted game, “Horizon Forbidden West” is officially a maybe for a 2021 release.
  • Of those multiple TV and video projects the first big one is likely to be an “Uncharted” movie, slated for release next February.

Go deeper: "Why would anybody play this?": PlayStation boss' most notorious quote

For more about PlayStation, E3 and everything else gaming sign up for the new Axios Gaming newsletter here.

Go deeper

"Squid Game" meets video games

Image courtesy of Netflix

"Squid Game" is Netflix's biggest series launch ever with more than 111 million views, but the show has taken root beyond the streaming platform in spaces like TikTok and the gaming industry.

Why it matters: The battle royale-style show's influence in video games seems to spread more every week.

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
3 hours ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania.