Microsoft gaming chief says Amazon, Google are his real competition

Project xCloud running <em>Gears of War 4</em> at an E3 Microsoft Theater demonstration.

The coming launch of Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X later this year (along with the continued success of the Nintendo Switch) point to a pretty familiar battle brewing in the ever-cyclical console wars. 

But Microsoft President of Gaming Phil Spencer says in a recent interview with tech site Protocol that the gaming giant is more focused on cloud-based threats than any specific console maker in the coming years."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," Spencer told the site. 

"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."The bit about trying to "re-create Azure" seems like an especially odd boast considering that Sony purchased cloud gaming service Gaikai in 2012 has been streaming games through its PlayStation Now service since 2014. 

Sony also recently partnered with Microsoft to now use Azure data centers to power PlayStation Now streaming, which would seem to obviate their need to "re-create" anything.