The war of consoles is about to end, replaced by an even bigger and more expansive one: the war of the servers in the cloud. SEGA vs. Nintendo, Nintendo vs. Sony, and Microsoft vs. Sony vs. Nintendo … All that will soon be past. The head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, recognizes that Sony and Nintendo are no longer their rivals. The threat is called Google and Amazon. And here Sony and Nintendo will have nothing to do, even if they want…
At the end of the year, Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles will go on sale. It seems that life continues as before, but trees should not hide the forest. These are two physical consoles that will allow you to play video games locally, as in the last 40 years. But many experts recognize that they are only a brief pause before the storm. Phil Spencer no longer considers Nintendo and Sony his rivals. He doesn”t even rule out an alliance with them to face almighty enemies: Google and Amazon.
In an interview in the Technological Protocol publication, the Xbox chief explains that: “when we talk about Sony and Nintendo, we have tons of respect for them, but we see Amazon and Google as our top rivals.” And the explanation is devastating: “It is not disrespectful to Sony or Nintendo, but traditional video game companies have been left out of place. I guess they could try to recreate our Azure cloud, but we have invested tens of billions of dollars in the cloud over the years. ”
Phil Spencer emphasizes that “Microsoft’s gaming business has nothing to do with the number of consoles you can sell. I don”t want to enter a format war with Sony and Nintendo while Amazon and Google are working on how to reach 7,000 million potential players “.
The reality is that: if the future of video games is in the cloud the role of Nintendo and Sony, in everything other than creating games, is over.
The video game industry is large and powerful, and in many countries more money goes into than the cinema and music. But PlayStation 4 has barely sold 100 million consoles, and Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, about 50 million. Video games in the cloud aspire to exceed 1,000 million users, with a potential market of more than 5,000 million users.
To play the best video games of the moment you have to spend a minimum of 350 euros on the hardware, and you need space to place and plug the console, a TV … With the game in the cloud you just have to touch an icon on the mobile, tablet or TV, and play instantly. The games work on Google, Amazon or Microsoft servers, and you receive them in streaming:
Google presented a few weeks ago its game project in the Google Stadia cloud, and Microsoft will release Project xCloud at the end of the year. Sony has a similar service, PlayStation now, but on a smaller scale. NVIDIA released GeForce Now yesterday. Amazon will present a similar service possibly this year.
In this ecosystem, Sony and Nintendo seem doomed to be secondary actors. As Phil Spencer has commented, they have no infrastructure in the cloud, and ride a dozens of billions of dollars. They simply don”t have that money.
In recent months Microsoft has shown that Sony, Nintendo or Steam are no longer rivals. He publishes his exclusive Xbox games at the same time on PC, and has started launching his games on Steam. He has released Xbox games on Switch, like Cuphead, and on PS4, like Minecraft. And it has boosted cross-play, so that Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PS4 players can play together in multiplayer games.
The only way out for Sony and Nintendo is to partner with one of these server companies and hire their hosting services to offer cloud gaming. A future Nintendo or PlayStation streaming service running on Microsoft Azure servers? Sony and Microsoft have already signed the agreement … But the Japanese company will have to pay a high price for that rental.
This year fans of traditional consoles will enjoy the presentation of Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. But the future of video games will be decided by Microsoft, Google and Amazon … Unless users have something to say about changing consoles through the cloud…
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