“I don’t want to be in a fight over format wars with [Nintendo and Sony] while Amazon and Google are focusing on how to get gaming to 7 billion people around the world. Ultimately, that’s the goal.”
IGN’s Top 25 Xbox One Games
Cloud infrastructure is a multi-billion dollar industry led by companies like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Although cloud technology is used for a variety of different services, like web hosting, the technology has been incorporated into gaming as well.
Google Stadia uses Google’s cloud technology to stream games to homes, as does Xbox’s Project xCloud with Azure. In 2019, Microsoft and Sony announced a joint agreement that would allow the two companies to work together on developing “future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services.”
The agreement could pave the way for Sony to use Microsoft’s Azure data centers to power its streaming services. There are rumors that Nintendo is also looking to work with Microsoft’s Azure on streaming.
While Sony and Microsoft are considering the imminent launch of each other company’s console, as Sony says when the company recently talked about pricing for the PS5, it appears that Microsoft is looking beyond hardware and sees cloud services as a new battleground.“That’s not to disrespect Nintendo and Sony, but traditional gaming companies are somewhat out of position,” says Spencer. “I guess they could try to re-create Azure, but we’ve invested tens of billions of dollars in cloud over the years.”
Check out IGN’s Console Watch 2020 series for more on next-gen news.
Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN. You can reach him on Twitter.