Xbox head and Microsoft gaming vice-president Phil Spencer recently spoke about his companies future goals. In an interview with Protocol, Spencer specified that neither Nintendo or PlayStation were seen as serious competitors by Xbox. Instead, his focus is on technology giants Amazon and Google.
Phil Spencer’s Vision for Xbox
The reason Phil Spencer is no longer taking Xbox’s former rivals seriously is their lack of investment into cloud infrastructure. Spencer details that they could try to “re-create Azure,” but he isn’t concerned given how much Microsoft has already invested.
It doesn’t seem as though this is just trash talk either. Microsoft itself has opened up to cross-platforming gaming. Some examples of popular crossplay titles that support all major platforms are Fortnite, Modern Warfare, and Rocket League. Why would Xbox do this if they were still seriously competing with Sony and Nintendo?
Phil Spencer rounds off the interview by making it clear that Xbox is ready for Google and Amazon. He has no intention of quarrelling amongst his former rivals whilst the newcomers figure out how to “get gaming to 7 billion people around the world.”
It’s certain that Spencer isn’t wrong about Amazon and Google’s cloud storage prowess. Amazon Web Services is likely the largest subsidiary you’ve never heard of. Whilst not as flashy as many of their other services, AWS makes Amazon over $25 billion every year. Many major websites like Netflix, Twitch, LinkedIn, and even Facebook all rely on AWS to function. Equally, the Google Cloud Platform managed to net Google $8.9 billion in revenue last year.
In contrast, PlayStation and Nintendo have very little to go by. Perhaps being the furthest behind in their market, Nintendo only added support for saving data via the cloud in 2018. Even the Xbox 360 had that option. When you look at all the facts, Phil Spencer might be right.