Highly anticipated: Google moved the console wars into the cloud with their announcement of Stadia at GDC 2019. In response, Microsoft gaming boss Phil Spencer stated that Microsoft will "go big" at E3 in a couple of months. Microsoft has reportedly been working on bringing their xCloud streaming service to market, which they demonstrated back in January.
The console wars have evolved with Google's entry into the cloud gaming arena, and Microsoft was watching very closely. In a memo to the internal Xbox team, Phil Spencer, Microsoft's head of gaming, responded to Stadia's launch by promising a big E3. "Google went big today and we have a couple of months until E3 when we will go big," Spencer hinted.
The full internal memo was obtained and published by Thurrott, and it suggests that Spencer feels as though Google is carrying the torch Microsoft lit.
Microsoft is working on its own game streaming service, called xCloud, with the intention of rivaling Google and other cloud platforms. Microsoft has also invested heavily in cross-play and more open gaming environments. Recently, Microsoft demoed xCloud for the first time and promised user trials later this year.
Spencer was also complimentary of aspects of the Google Stadia platform, saying in the memo, "there were no big surprises in their announcement although I was impressed by their leveraging of YouTube, the use of Google Assistant, and the new Wi-Fi controller." Google is utilizing YouTube to allow users to quickly upload clips, preview the game, and share game save files.
Here's the full memo:
We just wrapped up watching the Google announcement of Stadia as team here at GDC. Their announcement is validation of the path we embarked on two years ago.
Today we saw a big tech competitor enter the gaming market, and frame the necessary ingredients for success as Content, Community and Cloud. There were no big surprises in their announcement although I was impressed by their leveraging of YouTube, the use of Google Assistant and the new WiFi controller.
But I want get back to us, there has been really good work to get us to the position where we are poised to compete for 2 billion gamers across the planet. Google went big today and we have a couple of months until E3 when we will go big.
We have to stay agile and continue to build with our customer at the center. We have the content, community, cloud team and strategy, and as I’ve been saying for a while, it’s all about execution. This is even more true today.