Microsoft’s Phil Spencer doesn’t consider rival consoles as the company’s biggest competitor any longer, instead, that honor goes to Amazon and Google.
Speaking with the tech publication Protocol, Spencer said Sony and Nintendo are no longer considered competitors due to the lack of cloud tech such as Microsoft’s Azure platform.
But Google Stadia and Amazon’s upcoming game streaming service are seen as a competitive threat.
“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,” said Spencer. “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.
He went to say he would be willing to work with both Nintendo and Sony on cross-platform, something he has expressed interest in in the past. Spencer has said more than once the company is committed to the cloud, which is something that would allow people to play Microsoft games “where they want, when they want, on any device they want.”
But that may never come to pass, and Microsoft is more concerned with how to compete against tech giants such as Amazon and Google instead of Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5.
“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,” he said. “Ultimately, that’s the goal.”
Earlier this year, a report from The Information revealed that Amazon was working on its own game streaming service. Though it was very early days at that time, the report suggested that the company was already in talks with big publishers. It’s expected the company will announce its game streaming service sometime this year.
Meanwhile, Google Stadia went live back in November with 22 games, and it plans to add 120 more this year. First announced at GDC 2019, Spencer declared at the time that Google may have went big with the announcement, but that Microsoft would “go big” that year by countering the announcement with its own. And it did.
Microsoft outlined its Cloud Gaming plans at E3 2019 when it revealed Project xCloud, which features the ability for users to stream games from their Xbox One console to Android, and this tech is expected to work with Xbox Series X.