Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have decided to bury the hatchet and work together for a less toxic, more integrated video games ecosystem. The message sent out by key voices from each company at The Game Awards 2018 was loud and clear. And now, we know who Microsoft sees as its chief rivals looking ahead: tech giants Amazon and Google.
Phil Spencer, Vice President of Microsoft and Xbox head honcho, was very open about that while talking to Protocol about the cloud potential of every company.
"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 the magazine. "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."
Under the new gaming order, where cloud gaming and subscriptions will drive sales, Spencer is thinking of his old competitors as allies. Over the last few years, he has been eagerly promoting cross-play and cross-save between consoles and PC, and Minecraft for Nintendo Switch is Microsoft's best selling game ever in Japan. That's why he doesn'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."
xCloud is still in beta, Google Stadia's launch is a borderline failure, and it's now up to Amazon to finally make its move after years of rumours. Meanwhile, Sony and Nintendo lead the current console market in terms of gathering players around their ecosystems.
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