In a couple of months a whole new pissing war is about to begin amongst fans as they debate the pros and cons of their console of choice. Microsoft has the Xbox Series X, Sony has the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo pops up between them as it gleefully shouts “Switch!”. It’ll be a discussion around the usual topics that drive sales in video games: Which games look better, who has the best exclusives and why Phil Spencer has a better sense of fashion than several of Sony’s bosses.
Microsoft has a different game in mind though for the next generation. They’re thinking out of the Xbox (Pun intended NO RAGRETS), looking to tie their efforts not to a single game but a wider ecosystem that encompasses multiple platforms. Microsoft is headed towards the cloud and while Nintendo and Sony will always be primary competition in the gaming space, they won’t be considered rivals to the Xbox brand in the decade to come.
That honour, falls to Google and Amazon. “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,” Xboss Phil Spencer explained to 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 tens of billions of dollars in cloud over the years. 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.
Microsoft’s new vision has seen the company look to break down its digital borders, even allowing the use of Banjo and Kazooie in Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The console brand is in a healthy spot right now thanks to the likes of Game Pass, and Spencer’s remarks indicate more forwar-thinking on Microsoft’s part as the company looks to grab the maximum number of eyeballs and have them focus on their brand. Although picking a fight with a man who can afford to pay an obscene amount of parking tickets for his cars because he’s just so damn rich, might be a bit of an uphill battle.
Last Updated: February 6, 2020