How will Microsoft respond to Google's Stadia announcement? Well if a new email sent by Phil Spencer to his core team is anything to go off: they are going to match them punch-for-punch this E3. More specifically, Spencer notes that Google's Stadia "is validation of the path we [Xbox] embarked on two years ago." Further, apparently Spencer and co. have big plans for E3, which seems to suggest something bigger than your usual E3 presentation, like a next-gen console reveal, is in the pipeline.
"We just wrapped up watching the Google announcement of Stadia as team here at GDC," begins the email. "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. Energizing times."
As you can see, Spencer seems to suggest whatever Xbox has planned, is going to take on Google in some capacity, which would mean a big focus on Xbox Game Pass, Project xCloud, and propagating Xbox as a software over hardware brand.
Spencer has teased in the past that Xbox will be at E3 in a big fashion, but it's also been pretty vague PR-speak. This an email to his eternal team...there's no one to hype up, which really does seem to suggest Xbox has something meaty for E3 this year.
That said, to send out a "rally the troops" internal memo so quickly after Google's presentation, suggests that what Google revealed has Xbox a little bit nervous. And it should be nervous. It went from leading the race to the streaming/digital future, to trailing behind one of the other biggest companies in the world.
Anyway, as always, feel free to leave a comment letting us know what you think. What does Xbox have up its sleeve?