Phil Spencer Says Microsoft Sees Google and Amazon as Main Competition Rather than Nintendo and Sony

According to Phil Spencer, Microsoft sees Google and Amazon as the main competition because of their pushes into video game streaming.

For years it has always seemed like the war between gaming consoles and services was between Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo. However, with the increase in streaming services, it seems that other companies that are dipping toes into the gaming world are more of a threat to Microsoft now. At least, that’s what Phil Spencer has revealed.

In an interview with Protocol, Microsoft’s head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has stated that the big change this year is who the company’s big competitors are now. While the Xbox Series X and PS5 are due to fight it out later this year, Spencer doesn’t seem all that bothered about the impending console war.

As Protocol mentions, Microsoft is pushing the Xbox Series X’s xCloud technology, allowing players to play their games across numerous devices through streaming. “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 explains.

Google launched the founder’s version of Stadia last year with the free service landing this year. Stadia allows players to play games through streaming and has a number of large releases available such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077. Amazon is also speculated to reveal its streaming service this year. Additionally, the company has studios working on projects, one of which was a video game version of its popular car show The Grand Tour.

“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.” Spencer tells Protocol. He also says that Microsoft is willing to cooperate with Nintendo and Sony on initiatives such as cross-platform play where players on other systems can play with and against one another.

Spencer seems to be more concerned about the power that Google and Stadia could have over 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 7 billion people around the world. Ultimately, that’s the goal.”

While Google Stadia seems appealing, being able to play games with no loading times at high-quality for example, the company has been getting some stick from the gaming community. People aren’t impressed with the lack of communication and titles being announced for Stadia and Google has been shifting the blame onto publishers. Of course, the service is still new and has been defended by developers such as Tequila Works saying that the platform will get better.

It’s not surprising that Spencer doesn’t see Sony as a threat considering last year it was announced that Microsoft and Sony are collaborating together on streaming and cloud services and the two “will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services.”

I guess we’ll see what the future has in store for what looks like a new war focused on the best streaming services with Microsoft, NVidia, Amazon, and Google all potentially bashing heads this year.

Ben Bayliss

Based in the UK and adores venturing through FPS horrors and taking photos in pretty much anything with a functioning photo mode. Also likes car games.

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