It may seem odd that so many corporations are getting on board with the concept of cloud gaming before most users, but that’s the world we live in. With the failure of Google Stadia and the questionable choices made by PlayStation as they lost their chance to become the king of the hill, it’s up to Microsoft, Nvidia, and Amazon to take the future and shape it.
As I’ve previously stated, I think cloud gaming itself is in the awkward haircut stages and though it’s more than the sum of its parts, it’s still made up of parts. We’ll get there with time, and a lot of discussion surrounding it focuses on the cloud versus physical media. However, it’s never been an and/or thing, but lo and behold, the critics and fans alike have made it such.
This week, Xbox’s own CEO Phil Spencer came out on a video interview and stated this, eloquently phrasing it in a way that I hope will open everyone’s eyes. The cloud may be the future, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the only future, and I still believe they can co-exist with each other.
Our approach has been to give our customers a choice in how they play. We haven’t gone out and tried to tell people that they should not play on their PC or they should not play on their phone or their gaming console.
We look at cloud as an option for people maybe when they’re away from their console or PC or they’re on a device like [a] tablet… and they want to play a game. [A] tablet’s not going to run most console games, so we’re able to stream to that device. And the other people have gone out and tried to make it a real either/or choice. You’re either playing and streaming or you’re not. We’ve taken a more customer-driven focus. We have a subscription, you can buy games, if you subscribe you able to stream those games to any device with a web browser. Giving the customer the choice, putting the customer at the center of our decision-making has led to more success for us and I think we just announced we crossed 20 million people who have tried our cloud streaming.
It’s early, I don’t have a vision where everybody’s on cloud, nobody’s buying a piece of hardware. I don’t think that’s the future, but giving customers choice we found is good business.Phil Spencer via The Wall Street Journal
Let me know which side of the fence you stand on when it comes to these issues. One day, I’m sure they will be a lot closer and more symbiotic, and if anyone is going to make that possible, it’s going to be Microsoft. As a PlayStation fan, I never thought I would be saying that but here we are, and the company has completely turned around its reputation, at least in the gaming space. As a product of the ’90s, I am completely on board with physical media, but I’m also not opposed to innovation. I just think we need to have a talk with the bigwigs about gaming preservation since I think they’re doing an increasingly poor job of it.