Google’s announcement of its streaming platform Stadia was being carefully watched not just by gamers and press, but also by competitors. Microsoft’s Xbox division, which appears primed to be a major competitor to Google in the game streaming business, reportedly feels encouraged by the news.
An internal email from Xbox head Phil Spencer was published by Thurrott. While Spencer concedes that he was impressed by how well Google leveraged its various technologies, he also suggested that Google’s approach validates the current course for his division. The tone of the email strongly suggests that Xbox is planning its own streaming service, and that we’ll see it unveiled at E3 2019.
Microsoft has already indicated that it is working on a streaming solution with the announcement of Project xCloud, which will begin public tests this year. Most recently we saw it in action playing Forza Horizon 4. Google unveiled its streaming solution first, but Microsoft has similar infrastructure tools and an established gaming brand in Xbox.
Spencer also alludes specifically to E3, saying that will be Xbox’s turn to “go big.” This phrasing rings a bell, as he also used it when declaring that the company would be appearing at E3 after news broke that Sony would be dropping out of the show.
Streaming games through the cloud appears to be the next corporate battleground. You can read up on everything we know about Stadia and our hands-on impressions, or just familiarize yourself on cloud streaming and some companies eyeing the emerging market.
Spencer’s email can be read in full below:
We just wrapped up watching the Google announcement of Stadia as team here at GDC. Their announcement is validation of the path we embarked on two years ago..
Today we saw a big tech competitor enter the gaming market, and frame the necessary ingredients for success as Content, Community and Cloud. There were no big surprises in their announcement although I was impressed by their leveraging of YouTube, the use of Google Assistant and the new WiFi controller.
But I want get back to us, there has been really good work to get us to the position where we are poised to compete for 2 billion gamers across the planet. Google went big today and we have a couple of months until E3 when we will go big.
We have to stay agile and continue to build with our customer at the center. We have the content, community, cloud team and strategy, and as I’ve been saying for a while, it’s all about execution. This is even more true today.