Whether we wanted it or not, game streaming is the next major frontier that video game platforms are exploring. Whether that’s Sony’s PlayStation Now endeavors, Microsoft’s xCloud, or even Google entering the market with Stadia, everyone wants a piece of the streaming pie as options are explored and tech is advanced. New reports suggest that Amazon will enter the market next year with a video game streaming service of its own.
CNET reports that two sources have filled them in on Amazon’s plans to announce the streaming service next year, something it’s had in the works for some time now. The sources say that—similar to Google—Amazon has been picking up games industry talent to help deliver the upcoming service. While the sources didn’t implicate the timing of the launch, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter expects the service to launch competitively with the PlayStation 5 and next-gen Xbox. “The odds of them letting the Scarlett and PS5 launch without Amazon being there is zero.”
Amazon has explored the video game space before, starting its own development studio and creating its own game engine, but neither has managed to find much success. While Amazon Game Studios had layoffs earlier this year, it’s expected that job listings under Amazon Web Services for a “new initiative” are for the as-yet-unannounced games streaming service.
Considering Amazon’s failed attempts to enter the video game market in a competitive way and looking to Google Stadia’s own very rocky early launch, it’s easy to be skeptical about another big company trying to squeeze into cloud gaming and streaming services. The company could face the same criticisms as Google, most of which boil down to wonder exactly who the service is for. Without exclusives to bolster the platform (and considering the layoffs at Amazon Game Studios, it’s hard to imagine they have any exclusives in the pipeline), Amazon will have a hard time locating a specific audience unless it shows a unique value proposition for its service.
For now, all eyes are on Sony, Microsoft, and Google as they each work to improve their respective game streaming services and convince consumers of the value that their services can provide. Depending on where each of them stands next year will determine just how much Amazon will have to come out of the gate swinging when they do finally enter the market.