Microsoft Corp. is using the example of Apple’s case against the Mac clone maker Psystar to proceed with a ban over the third-party memory cards, plug-ins, and other accessories for its signature gaming console Xbox 360.
Datel Design and Development, which designs memory cards and accessories for Xbox 360, filed a lawsuit against Microsoft after an announcement by the company that it was going ahead with a ban to prevent third-party accessories from being used in the Xbox 360.
However, Microsoft argued that if Apple is allowed to ban another company from shipping unauthorised Mac OS X machines, then it should also be permitted to prevent other vendors from selling unauthorised Xbox 360 accessories and plug-ins loaded with game cheats.
In a legal suit filed against the software giant in November, Datel noted that Microsoft was monopolising the “Multiplayer Online Dedicated Systems” market, and using its dominant position to unjustly control the related accessories and plug-in market for the same.
Justifying the same, the company mentioned in its complaint: “The Wii's reduced functionality and lower price point reflect a target market that is distinct from that of Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's Playstation 3.”
“Accordingly, the Wii is not regarded by consumers as reasonably interchangeable with the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3, and the cross-elasticity of demand between these products and the Wii is low”, it added.
However, interestingly, Datel’s lawsuit targets Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation under its connotation of the video-game market, and it nowhere mentions Nintendo Wii. This is because Nintendo Wii is the dominant player and including it in the lawsuit would perceptibly make the lawsuit against Microsoft less plausible.