Xbox boss Phil Spencer isn’t too bothered about Nintendo and Sony in the future, because Microsoft doesn’t see “traditional gaming companies” as its real competitors (via The Verge).
“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,” he told Protocol in a new interview. “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.” Microsoft’s Project xCloud hit the ground running last year, trialling its “state-of-the-art global game-streaming technology” before it launches properly later in 2020. It’s possible through the company’s cloud service provider, Azure, which is present in over 50 regions around the world and used by the likes of Adobe, HP, UPS, Xerox, and lots others.
It’s important not to read too much into Spencer’s comment. He communicated that the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 would energise the industry in tandem with their technical prowess. In addition, Microsoft has partnered with Sony to “develop future cloud solutions for game and content-streaming services” together. “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 7 billion people around the world. Ultimately, that's the goal,” summarised Spencer. This aligns with what industry analysts are claiming, agreeing that the competition will follow “ecosystems” rather than platforms and companies. The Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 launch in the latter months of this year, and Nintendo has no intention of releasing a new model of the Switch just yet. We’ll have to see how the landscape changes over the course of 2020, and whether Phil’s prophecy comes to pass.