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Think Microsoft’s Xbox boss is afraid of the PS5? There’s something that scares him much more

Published Feb 5th, 2020 1:39PM EST
Xbox Series X

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The PlayStation 5 is one of the most talked-about new products of the year, and the PS5 isn’t even official yet. The console will launch this holiday season alongside the Xbox Series X, and they’re both likely to have similar features as well as matching price tags. Given the performance of its predecessor, the PS5 is already a favorite against the Series X. But it turns out that Microsoft has bigger worries in mind than beating the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch in sales with the upcoming Xbox Series X. Microsoft is much more scared of two little companies called Amazon and Google, which could deliver games to billions of customers who wouldn’t necessarily buy dedicated gaming hardware.

Microsoft’s Xbox chief Phil Spencer told Protocol that Sony and Nintendo aren’t his main competitors anymore. That role has been taken by Amazon and Google, both huge cloud players, and both very interested in gaming. Google already launched its game streaming service called Stadia, and Amazon is expected to unveil one of its own this fall.

“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.”

Microsoft isn’t only working on new Xbox Series X hardware. The company has also been developing its own game streaming platform, xCloud, that will launch later this year, and you can already try it out.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft and Sony already inked a partnership for Azure cloud services, prompting speculation that Sony might use Microsoft’s cloud for future PS5 features. Spencer also confirmed he’s looking forward to working with Sony when it comes to cross-platform gameplay. “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,” he said.

What Spencer didn’t address, however, is the actual release date of the Xbox Series X, which remains a mystery.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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