Microsoft’s Project xCloud streaming service, which entered a preview phase in October 2019, has been designed to be capable of delivering console-quality gaming to users on multiple devices including mobiles.
“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 added: “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.”
In the same interview, the Xbox boss reiterated his stance on cooperation with rival platforms, stating that Xbox is willing to work with Nintendo and Sony on initiatives like allowing users on the various companies’ systems to play with and against one another.
In May 2019 Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Sony which is expected to result in the PlayStation maker using its Azure data centres for cloud gaming and content streaming services.
Spencer told Fortune in an interview in July of the same year that he believes Xbox has more to gain through companies expanding the games business than there is from them “eroding and chipping away at each other.”
“Gaming is not going to get better if PlayStation is not a brand, or Nintendo is not a brand,” he said.
“Fundamentally, I believe that gaming is a better place with known, trusted brands in place that customers love. If known brands that customers love go away, it’s going to undermine their confidence.”
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter has suggested Amazon’s streaming service will arrive in time to compete with next-gen consoles. “The odds of them letting the Scarlett and PS5 launch without Amazon being there is zero,” he told CNET in November 2019.