I was almost asleep when an article in the Guardian passed my eyes. The article was from Feb 3, but I read it only now. This happens, there is only so much my eyes can deal with and this is one of those moments I am catching up, it is 05:15, as such I am still ahead of the curve.
The article called ‘Amazon, Google and why you can’t just invent a blockbusting games developer’ is an excellent piece by Keith Stuart. There might be a few quotes in there, but I will try to avoid it as the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/games/2021/feb/03/amazon-google-and-why-you-cant-just-invent-a-blockbusting-games-developer) is a gem from start to finish. You need to read it.
You see, we are looking who wins the Cloud gaming rush, but even I forgot the setting that is forgotten. I touched on it in the past and I did point out that Amazon is doing much better than expected against Giant Google, yet that is not enough. The lesson that Microsoft refused to learn is upon all three of them. In my view these three are staged in a mindset of ‘Business staging art’, which is the wrong setting. It is now and has always been ‘Art pushing business’, it is the one side that they all forgot (Nintendo and Sony as an exception). Art is the power over business, not the other way around and Ubisoft is learning that the hard way. They forgot the station they were in when they got their business executives push the thought ‘A new Assassins Creed every year’ that is when they lost the plot and if Google and Amazon do not learn that lesson quick enough they will be out of the race too. At present there are thoughts that Amazon is now in the lead. I cannot tell as I do not have certain links and connections, but those who voiced it have a decent case, Amazon might win this, a race I actually never saw. I thought that the people at Google were googly and artsy enough to see that, yet I could be wrong there.
So as cloud gaming is taking a slow stage towards the gaming of tomorrow, the stage is larger and it needs to be painted. Not by some painters R Us franchise, but by kids and dreamers who dream of tomorrow, who dream of what might be and then we see if the artsy people can guide these younglings into a frame of gaming, not the business executives on what looks cool, but art people on feels cool and what plays truly cool, a stage ignored too often and also pushed into silence by the wrong people. Keith makes mention in his article on the business stage of AAA game development, yet the business needs will be the collected data and cloud services and the art of gaming falls away. Just as Microsoft was blinkered into the Azure stage, we see Google and Amazon making similar if not too identical moves. Parts were seen almost a year ago in Forbes when they gave us ‘The Console War Is Over Because Sony Left Microsoft Behind From The Start’ (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2020/02/28/theres-never-really-been-a-console-war-because-playstation-left-xbox-behind-from-the-start/), a stage most saw coming a mile away. Only because Microsoft still doesn’t get it, they never did. Not for almost 7 years, they lost the plot and they had to answer to board members who never understood it in the first place. That is the stage that Google and Amazon face at present and the one getting it last (or not at all) will be the loser in this. To be honest I expected Google to win this, I did not expect Amazon Luna to be on par with Google but they were and if they can solve the software issue, they will be ahead of both Google and Microsoft which is a race result I would never have bet on a year ago, but there you have it.
So when we look back at a quote in the Forbes “the console war is over and Microsoft has moved on, leaving Sony in the dust”, we see the problem. It is a business quote, it is a cloud quote and it is a presumptive quote on what gamers need. Yet the gamer wants a good game, it does not matter where it is and they prefer to play on THEIR system. By making the cloud the axial and not the game Microsoft lost and it will lose bigger because cloud gaming requires a good connection which takes out well over 30% of Europe and well over 35% of the US, so these executives are running in a race with both hands tied behind their back, they will claim that their legs do the running, but the arms are required to keep balance, and without balance they do not stand much of a chance. Even now, as we see congestion after congestions, they keep on saying it is about cloud, but the stage of the cloud is the internet and the connections and they are not on par, 5G is too far away, so those with the options will look at cloud and there the games matter, so Microsoft is out of the race and it is now between Google and Amazon and the Amazon horse has now optionally an advantage.
So even as Forbes is setting the (wrong) stage by consoles and how Microsoft only has one console on that list in the top 10, the Xbox360 in 8th position. We forget that time was an issue, and in a short time Xbox 360 became an actual contender, after that the wrong people at Microsoft started to talk and others were told to listen, it gave folly to the Xbox One and more folly to what came after. All whilst Nintendo completed the Switch and that ended Microsoft. Now Microsoft is a mere distant third and if Amazon gets its game right, optionally Microsoft becomes 4th at that point the people will abandon that system. The titan that was created in 7 years was utterly destroyed 8 years later, and as I see it there will be no coming back from that. This saddens me, not because of Microsoft, but with Microsoft where it was Sony had to up its game and that is the part that matters. It is not about the PS5, it will be about the PS6 in 2028 and without Microsoft the difference between PS5 and PS6 might not be to the degree it should be. I look at the future and gamers, true gamers will look at the games that are dreamt up right now, the dreamers will require hardware that does not exist yet pushing consoles and optionally cloud systems, but any gaming cloud system set to the premise of business people will not have that much of a chance.
I might be wrong, but so far in gaming I have been right a lot more than wrong, so I feel confident in my view of the matter.