Earlier this week, Google Stadia arrived on the scene. While the prospect of a console built entirely around the concept of streaming games is intriguing, Stadia has had a handful of issues right out of the gate, leaving many to question whether or not the technology is prominent enough for a console built entirely around the concept. If rumors are to be believed, Stadia's issues haven't been enough to dissuade another giant from entering this new technological arms race. According to CNET, Amazon has plans to announce a cloud streaming console of their own next year.
While an Amazon console is likely at least a year away, it makes sense that they would be the next giant to take the leap. After all, Amazon has the money to put the needed infrastructure in place, and with their ownership of Twitch, it stands to reason that they might be interested in pursuing more gaming-related endeavors. They also have one distinct advantage that none of their potential rivals share: a massive digital storefront that consumers are familiar with and trust. Companies like Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony are in less of a rush to invest completely in digital downloads or cloud streaming, because companies like Target, GameStop and Best Buy are still needed to sell their consoles. Having new games for those stores to sell every month keeps companies interested in continuing to stock consoles. Amazon could easily cut brick-and-mortar stores out of the equation without that same concern.
Naturally, there are several other hurdles that might stand in Amazon's way, however. The gaming market might not be able to sustain yet another console, particularly with Sony's PS5 and Microsoft's Project Scarlett set for release in 2020. It's far too early to call Stadia a flop, but if the system flourishes, it could be more competition for Amazon. If things continue to go bad for Google, it could also sour consumers against game streaming entirely. There's also a large segment of the gaming public that enjoys purchasing physical games, as well. Retro gaming is a huge part of the hobby, and gamers are rightfully concerned about paying to play games that can't be revisited within a few years time.
Regardless, it will be interesting to see if Amazon jumps into the next console generation. If there's any company that has the financial resources to take on Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft (and possibly Google), it's certainly them.
Are you interested in cloud streaming? Or do you prefer owning physical consoles and games? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!