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Sony and Nintendo cannot compete in cloud gaming future says Xbox boss


Microsoft seems to think it’s moved beyond Sony and Nintendo (pic: Microsoft)

Microsoft now sees Amazon and Google as its main competitors in the video games business, claiming Sony and Nintendo are ‘out of position’.

The main rival to Xbox is not the PlayStation or Switch but… Stadia? According to Xbox boss Phil Spencer that’s how he now sees things, with the increasing importance of cloud gaming making Google and Amazon his most feared opponents.

‘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 in an interview with Protocol.

‘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 10s of billions of dollars in cloud over the years.’

Spencer is usually careful not to inflame format wars, so these comments are surprising, especially as Sony has already announced a collaboration with Microsoft to use its cloud technology. So he knows fine well they don’t have to ‘re-create Azure’, they’re already about to start using it.

‘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’, says Spencer.

The comments are especially odd given that Google’s Stadia platform has been a complete flop so far and Amazon still hasn’t announced a game streaming service of its own.

Not only that but Microsoft has been consistently saying that cloud gaming will not be ready to take over from consoles for some time yet, with Microsoft’s own Project xCloud still only in beta.

Considering content will be king once streaming is established as a standard technology, it’s easy to argue that Sony and Nintendo will be better placed than ever given their success with format exclusives this generation.

Microsoft’s failings in that area is exactly why they went on a spending spree last year, to set-up more first party studios to create their own exclusive content.

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