Amazon has serious ambitious to do more around video games, with a plan to expand in a big way its existing identity as a retailer of titles as well as the owner of Twitch, the most prominent game livestreaming service in the world.
That’s according to a new report via The Information, the Internet retail giant is joining the growing list of companies that want to build what’s essentially a Netflix for video games. Microsoft and Google are likewise interested in this, and what Amazon also wants to develop is a version of what Sony also has via PlayStation Now — a way to stream games instead of customers having to fork over the money to buy and download them.
Talks have already begun between Amazon and game publishers for this streaming outlet that, at the earliest, would be live sometime next year. And it should go without saying, services like this coming to fruition would represent a huge transformation of the business model supporting the video game industry, as the new report notes. “Streaming services represent a potentially significant shift in the games business by, in some cases, eliminating the need for players to purchase expensive hardware, such as consoles or PCs, to run the most elaborate titles,” according to The Information. “Instead, the games run on powerful computers inside data centers, allowing people to play them on devices with less processing muscle, including smartphones, tablets and smart televisions.”
Amazon hasn’t announced any such plans so far or even confirmed the existence of such plans. Reporters, however, have spotted job listings relevant to this effort, such as this one for a Lead Cross-Platform Game Engineer. “This is a rare opportunity,” the listing reads, “to take a technical leadership role to shape the foundation of an unannounced AAA games business.”
Amazon, of course, already has the cloud computing capacity necessary for a service like this thanks to Amazon Web Services. As we already noted, it also won’t be alone in this effort. Microsoft, for example, unveiled its video game streaming service Project xCloud back in October, touting it as bringing games to devices including PCs and consoles. Public trials of that system are supposed to kick off this year.