Microsoft's response to Google's Stadia: Going big at E3 with possible xCloud or Xbox announcements
Google has unveiled Stadia, and there’s no doubt there will be a few nervous executives out there wondering how their company’s products can help them maintain a serious challenge against the search engine giant’s cloud-based gaming service. But it seems Xbox’s Phil Spencer is less perturbed than most by this turn of events, as evidenced by the tone of his apparently leaked email:
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 Wi-Fi controller.
That could easily be translated from businessese to simply “meh.” Naturally, the intended receivers of the email will want to see that the captain of their ship is steering on a steady course. But it’s what Spencer writes further on that really piques curiosity:
Google went big today and we have a couple of months until E3 when we will go big.
Of course, that can be taken as business bluster, but it’s unlikely that's all it is. There are many rumors swirling around Xbox at the moment, and if the famous gaming brand wants to “go big” like Google just has, then an announcement of huge proportions needs to be made. An unveiling of the Xbox Lockhart and Anaconda devices brandishing their custom Navi-based GPUs would be a good start. There are huge expectations for these next-generation consoles and they could likely challenge Google’s Stadia in terms of single GPU power and performance.
One of the Xbox consoles, specifically the Lockhart device, is expected to be a streaming-only disc-less machine. What could be better to show off its streaming capabilities than revealing the xCloud gaming service in all its glory? Testing on the service has already begun, and it has been mentioned that public trials would begin in 2019. A fully loaded next-gen Xbox console utilizing an operational xCloud service as an E3 reveal - that would be big.
Or Spencer could have just been referring to a new surprise entry into the Halo series (not including Halo Infinite), which wouldn’t really be that big.