In the gaming industry, there are two gaming veterans who are undeniably the industry leaders when it comes to consoles: Sony and Microsoft with their Playstation and Xbox brands respectively. Both have announced big plans for cloud gaming in response to Google Stadia, however their most recent reaction to the threat that Google poses goes to prove that it’s highly likely Google Stadia will work after all.
While Nintendo does take a small portion of the gaming market from Sony and Microsoft with its own consoles and handhelds, on the whole, the battle has always been between the Playstation and the Xbox. Console gamers have been rowing over which is the better console since Xbox’s first release back in 2001 (Playstation had been around since ’94) and, therefore, the two have had nearly two decades to develop a hatred for one another. As such, the recent announcement of their partnership has come as a surprise to many in the industry—but, as the old proverb goes, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. In this case, there surely couldn’t be a better summary.
The pair announced their new and unexpected partnership this week, and honestly, it makes sense for them to do so. Google’s income dwarfs Sony’s and Microsoft’s. As such, Google is in a position to put much more investment in its cloud gaming endeavours than either Sony or Microsoft could (without putting the other aspects of their businesses at risk, that is). Therefore, their decision to effectively ‘pool’ their data centers to make one massive power source does make strategic sense.
With the impressive claims that Google has made in regards to Google Stadia’s game streaming capabilities, Sony and Microsoft would have had to put huge investment into improving their existing technology. This way, they genuinely have a chance of competing with Stadia’s gaming power. The question now surely has to be: can the two get along well enough and avoid too many conflicts of interest to make their shared data center plans work?
Honestly? We think not.