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Xbox's Phil Spencer Sees Amazon And Google As Their Biggest Future Competitors

Microsoft wants Sony and Nintendo to partner with them for the future.


It might only be a few more months until Microsoft and Sony lock horns again with the launches of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, but Xbox head Phil Spencer is already thinking about the competitors of the future. And according to him, they're neither Sony or Nintendo.

Speaking to Protocol, Spencer explained that the real competitors on the horizon are Amazon and Google, due to their established cloud-service backbones that already compete with Microsoft's own Azure network. Spencer sees the movement towards cloud gaming (they're already testing their own games streaming service, Project XCloud, publicly) and the hardware that they will require as the new ground for competition, instead of physical console sales.

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"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," Spencer said. "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."

Spencer wants to shift the conversation away from hardware sales and towards the number of potential customers each company can reach, which makes establishing partnerships crucial. Sony has already made such a move, signing a deal with Microsoft to leverage Azure for future cloud-based products over Amazon, which still currently powers PSN through AWS.

"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," Spencer concluded. "Ultimately, that's the goal."

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