The new gaming generation is officially starting later this year with the release of the Xbox Series X and PS5. However, it seems like Microsoft doesn’t consider Sony or Nintendo to be their main competitors or rivals in the larger scheme of things.
Speaking in an interview with Protocol, Xbox head Phil Spencer said:
“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.
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.”
To be fair, Microsoft and Xbox haven’t been focusing much on gaming as evident from the past years, as they aligned their efforts to further develop cloud infrastructure. Azure is their baby, Microsoft’s massive cloud computing service that is utilized by Xbox’s own Project xCloud games streaming service, as well as many other companies.
The console wars will probably get less intense now that Microsoft and Xbox have decided to pursue cloud-based tech in gaming, instead of going toe-to-toe with Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo. It’s a good future-proof movie on their part, especially with how far ahead (of Microsoft) Sony and Nintendo currently are in the gaming industry.
“I don’t want to be in a fight over format wars with those guys while Amazon and Google are focusing on how to get gaming to seven billion people around the world.
Ultimately, that’s the goal.”
Both Google and Amazon already have huge cloud infrastructure and tech of their own, the former with Stadia and the latter unrevealed as of yet. What this means is that another war is coming, and it won’t be between consoles like it has been for the past several decades.
On the other hand, console gaming is an established cycle which repeats every generation. Cloud-based tech for gaming, in particular, has yet to prove itself as a viable or profitable alternative to traditional hardware-based gaming. Perhaps that will change in the future, but until then:
Begun, the Cloud Wars have.