People love rivalries. Apple vs Microsoft, Ford vs Chevy, Patriots vs the Bills and Xbox vs PlayStation are just a few of the greats. According to Protocol, however, the Xbox vs PlayStation rivalry may be nearing its end as Microsoft’s focus has shifted to Amazon and Google as its primary rivals.
“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,” Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft’s games business, told Protocol in an 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.”
The change in focus is another indication of the growing importance of the cloud, and Microsoft’s determination to continue gaining ground in the market. While the company has enjoyed phenomenal success with its Xbox line, it sees the future of gaming in cloud-based streaming, according to Business Insider.
Google has already released its streaming game service Stadia, and Apple has a similar service called Apple Arcade. While Amazon doesn’t currently have a gaming service, it has the underlying cloud architecture to support one. Unlike Microsoft or Sony’s current offerings, for a low monthly price Stadia and Arcade stream a myriad of games to devices people already own and use, meaning there is a far lower barrier-to-entry. This is significant when taking into consideration the cost of a gaming console. Suddenly the potential market goes from hundreds of millions to billions.
Microsoft’s changed focus is just the latest thing that illustrates the many different fronts the cloud wars will be fought on—including gaming.