There are speculations online wondering if cloud based gaming will make gaming consoles obsolete. Despite leading the charge for cloud gaming, Phil Spencer still believes that gaming consoles will be around for a decade and more. With Microsoft pushing for a more game streaming experience, many people feels as though console gaming’s existence is threatened.
I think getting to a world where you don’t have to own one device to play specific games helps the industry. That doesn’t mean owning a device isn’t part of my experience. I think I’m going to have a game console plugged into my television for the next decade plus. The best way for me to play on my TV is to have the local device, download, and play. But sometimes I’m not in front of my television, sometimes I’m not in front of a device with [native gaming capability], and that’s our bet on cloud (gaming). For us, we really do mean it when we say “when everybody plays we all win.”The cloud is really a means to an end.
Not so long ago, Spencer himself made a bold comment that he doesn’t consider Sony to be his biggest rival. Instead, his focus is on competing with Google and Amazon for cloud gaming. He clarifies this statement further.
When I make statements about who I see as the competition and who I don’t see as the competition…I would much rather see companies that have been part of bringing the games industry to where it is today be leaders for the next 20 or 30 years, because there’s a learning and responsibility those teams have held for a long time that has brought us to that point. I think that learning and understanding and responsibility should be part of gaming’s next 50 years. I find that my conversations with those other companies are usually more collaborative than “two enter, one may leave” scenarios. In that world, I’d love the industry to continue to evolve through both competition and cooperation. We should compete in the areas that help us get better. I love the brands that are in the industry today and the safety players have with those brands and for us, as an industry, it’s great when all those brands continue to grow.
Whether Phil Spencer is correct in his assumptions that consoles will still be relevant even a decade after now despite cloud gaming, is something we still have all yet to see. But what we can be sure of, is that if cloud gaming ever becomes viable, it will change how games are played forever.
For a deeper look at this topic, check out Erickson’s article about cloud gaming making consoles obsolete.