Phil Spencer, the Microsoft Head of Gaming told Protocol.com this week that it is focusing on Google and Amazon as their competitors and believes it’s formal rivals as “somewhat out of position”. Of course, Spencer was careful to not insult Nintendo and Sony but sees that the future of gaming is cloud based. The gaming giants of the last generation would compete over the most powerful machines and the funnest exclusives. Today, Microsoft has shifted it’s focus onto its Azure powered xCloud. This service is already being tested and has the ability to play Xbox One level games on smart phones. Spencer states that they have spent “tens of billions” over the last couple years creating this system and preparing for the next level of gaming.
Sony and Nintendo are still focused on a more ‘old school’ version of gaming. Playstation can stream games, and that’s a good start. But the vision of the future is a console that simply delivers the stream to your TV, instead of primarily being the powerhouse that runs the game itself. That being said Xbox Series X does boast impressive stats and depending on the feature, the two companies will be trading blows in the next gen. As for Nintendo they seem to enjoy there niche. A corner of the market that Microsoft and Sony have never been able to penetrate. They provide fun, family games that usually celebrates couch co-op over massive multiplayer games. They are also ready to play anywhere. Microsoft’s steaming ability lets you play on a phone, laptop, or tablet. eliminating the need for second device just for gaming. Nintendo exclusives are their best weapon in the console wars. As long and Link, Pikachu, and Mario stay on Nintendo, they will always have a place.
Phil Spencer sees the Amazon and Google as the real competition. Google has already launched Stadia. While its launch was underwhelming, it continues to stabilize and prove that Google will stand behind this product. If the system becomes everything its promised to be, then it will bring all the features that Microsoft’s Azure can provide without the expensive Xbox console itself. Amazon on the other hand has been investing in many gaming facets. They own the streaming power house Twitch. The AWS cloud is already being integrated into much of the games developed today. And they are developing their own games, most notable New World.
We are in the midst of change in the gaming industry. We’ve seen changes in the past and the daring companies always prevail. Sony embracing CDs drove Nintendo into a corner. Microsoft leading online play is the reason Xbox survived at all. We must keep our minds open and follow the trends to make the wisest gaming investment. Even an “Xbox Fanboy” like myself sees that it might be more prudent to actually buy a PS5 and enjoy the Xbox exclusives with my gaming PC. The Switch is a must buy for every gamer with their exclusive and the embracing of indies. This combo really gives you the biggest bang for your back. We have a lot more details on the horizon that will undoubtedly change everyone’s opinions; so we will keep you informed as we learn more.
Below is more of the quote from Phil Spencer to Protocol.com:
“When you talk about Nintendo and Sony, we have a ton of respect for them, but we see Amazon and Google as the main competitors going forward,” Spencer said. “That’s not to disrespect Nintendo and Sony, but the traditional gaming companies are somewhat out of position. I guess they could try to re-create Azure, but we’ve invested tens of billions of dollars in cloud over the years.”