Amazon could finally be focusing its Sauron-like gaze on the video game industry after a new report revealed the company is working on a high-end video game streaming service. Amazon's streaming service could make it so that even big-budget games could be streamed to any smartphone or streaming device.
The Washington Post reports that Amazon is looking to leverage its considerable cloud business to stream "robust" games even on mobile devices. This would bypass the need for Amazon to make any new hardware as the games would be hosted on Amazon's cloud network. According to the report Amazon is looking to launch the service next year.
Amazon isn't the only company looking into streaming high-end video games. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Google are all working on one kind of streaming service or another. Google already held a test where players could stream Assassin's Creed Odyssey through Google Chrome, while Nintendo has a Japan-only service where players can stream games like Resident Evil 7 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey on their Switch.
Meanwhile Microsoft is getting ready for its own xCloud video game streaming service. Various reports suggest the company is even looking to release a streaming-only Xbox console sometime in the future. But according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer streaming will not fully replace traditional gaming for some time.
Amazon would have an advantage if it introduced a cloud-based video game streaming service. Amazon holds 32 percent of the cloud business compared to Microsoft Azure's 17 percent and Google Cloud's 8 percent.
At the same time Amazon's past forays into video games are less commanding. Amazon has yet to ship a triple-A game despite starting up its own video game studio, and not much has been seen of Amazon's Lumberyard engine since it launched in 2016. Amazon's most notable video game venture so far has been the acquisition of the video service Twitch.
Industry analysts note that video game streaming might not be too popular with long-time video game companies who'll have to give up control of their titles to streaming giants. But some in the industry like Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot believe streaming is the future of gaming. Is a new console war on the horizon with the advent of streaming?