We already know that Microsoft plans to continue competing in the console hardware space with the Xbox Series X, but services and more specifically, cloud gaming, are becoming increasingly bigger areas of focus. With that in mind, Phil Spencer is eyeing up competition from the likes of Google and Amazon, rather than Sony and Nintendo.
During a recent interview with Protocol, Xbox head, Phil Spencer, talked a bit about competition for Microsoft's gaming ambitions: “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.”
Now you don't need a global data centre network to provide a good streaming service. As we already know, Sony plans to use Microsoft Azure servers to power PlayStation Now in the future and other companies may piggyback off of existing server farms too. However, having that technical background and infrastructure already in place is indeed a big advantage.
Google, Amazon and Microsoft all rank in the top five largest data centre providers in the world, so each has a solid background to push content through. However, Microsoft's Project xCloud already has the edge on Google Stadia in terms of supported content. Amazon may also be revealing its own moves in the cloud gaming space this year and GeForce Now just launched for PC gamers, so competition is certainly going to ramp up.
KitGuru Says: Cloud gaming requires a strong balance of great technology and great content in order to succeed. Microsoft is in a promising position in that regard but we shouldn't be sleeping on the other traditional console makers just yet. Nintendo and Sony systems are going to keep selling as long as those companies keep knocking out highly-rated exclusives.