Xbox competition is no longer Nintendo or Sony, Phil Spencer says

There’s a lot of Xbox competition out there these days, but Xbox head Phil Spencer isn’t all that concerned about some of them. In fact, he doesn’t even consider Sony or Nintendo to be the company’s competition anymore.

As pretty much anyone with a pulse and an interest in gaming knows, the Xbox Series X and the PS5 are expected to go on sale later this year. Both companies will be going head-to-head for as much of the console market as they can grab, but Xbox’s Phil Spencer has an entirely different idea of what the real Xbox competition is these days.

Xbox Competition Series X

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“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,” Phil Spencer said in an interview with Protocol. “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.”

That investment into the cloud — Microsoft’s Azure platform is one of the world’s leading cloud service providers — is where Microsoft will be keeping its focus in the gaming world, emphasized by its work on Project xCloud. Although Microsoft Azure is used for plenty of business applications, it’s also leveraged in the gaming world to host servers, track user data, and provide other services.

As further evidence of this new stance, Microsoft has been more than willing to work with both Sony and Nintendo on cross-play initiatives. While these two companies undeniably serve as Xbox competition, Phil Spencer thinks that Amazon and Google post a much bigger threat.

“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.”