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Opinion Business What if Amazon decided to get into the video games console market? - Thought Experiment

FunkMiller

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Aug 14, 2014
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The recent Bethesda acquisition by Microsoft has got me thinking...

What if they weren't reacting to Sony (who currently lead the video games market, but aren't a company on Microsoft's scale) but to a potential newcomer to the industry? If that were coming, existing console manufacturers would certainly want to bolster their output and market footprint.

And what if that new competitor was Amazon?

Because there really aren't any other companies that exist with the money, know how and desire to do it currently - Apple are happy with their own ecosystem, and we all know how things have gone for Alphabet with Google Stadia.

So what would you think if we suddenly got an announcement that Amazon were working on the 'Amazon Inferno' - a 15 tflop games console with super, duper fast SSD, 4ghz + CPU, 32gb of RAM and a GPU with more CUs than you can shake a stick at? (Don't critique the specs, I'm only throwing them out as an idle example) It would come with twelve months Twitch Prime subscription, free one day delivery on all Inferno products, with a promise of games coming from the four major developers Amazon just bought, because they can do that sort of thing even easier than Microsoft.

Would you hate the idea? Or welcome a new player into the industry? Would Amazon stifle game creativity, or increase it?

Just wondering what your thoughts are GAF.
 
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reinking

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I believe if Amazon took a Series S approach they would be better off. Bring something in priced for the casual/parent market and not compete for the hardcore gamers.
 
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Slings and Arrows

and Ceramide R
Apr 19, 2019
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Away with the fairies
Amazon won't enter the market to try and sandwich themselves between Microsoft, Sony and PC, without taking a huge loss in cost of R+D and production of a console and buying up major (EA, Activision, etc) pubs and developers.

Though i could see Amazon use Nvidia for their GPU and Intel for their CPU, as to force a divide between 'old and new' consoles.

Basically, they would have to revamp and rewrite the definition of what the console industry is, while taking a huge hit in profits for years, all so that they could get their brand in the living room?

What would be the point?



hate the idea. just no, please God no. no more corporate consolidation.

this whole week has been disturbing. yall are cheering on the death of the industry.

I see it more that Bethesda were struggling to make games, needed a new engine and had become creatively bankrupt. Now that they have the money of MS to fund a new engine and a whole host of writers/creators to lean on across MS owned studios, Fallout and ES are now in a better position than they have been for more than 10 years.
 
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FunkMiller

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Amazon won't enter the market to try and sandwich themselves between Microsoft, Sony and PC, without taking a huge loss in cost of R+D and production of a console and buying up major (EA, Activision, etc) pubs and developers.

Well, they've done similar before, so *shrug*

Amazon, Google etc can buy existing players. Like MS has done.

They wouldn't bother creating anything themselves. They don't understand the market nor do they have the know how, going by their recent efforts (Stadia, Crucible)

Amazon very much do have the know how when it comes to consumer technology.
 
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Arkam

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If they do, my prime membership better be all I need to play games online.

On a serious note Amazon is very invested in games. Though I think they learned their lesson a few years back when they tried to launch a version of the Fire TV as a console. I would expect Amazon to simply be a direct to consumer online GaaS provider. Sure many of their games will also be available on Xbox/Ps until they reach critical mass.

least that would be the strategy I would play.
 

vaibhavpisal

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Amazon very much do have the know how when it comes to consumer technology.

Making a game console that resonates with players easier said than done.

Much harder than making devices like kindle, fire TV stick etc.

You need investment in epic proportions to ensure steady supply of games.
 

Zannegan

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If they did try to break in, they'd be much more likely to go low end than high end. On the other hand, I guess they already tried that and it didn't work, so maybe I'm wrong

As leery as I am of MS buying Zenimax, I'd be a lot more worried if someone like Google or Amazon did so. At least MS has a decent track record and is invested in gaming. With either of the other two, I'd be afraid the whole operation would get written off/shuttered within the generation.
 
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Croatoan

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Jun 24, 2014
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Amazon's first few games have been terrible. They basically canceled one a few days after launch...think about that for a moment. They canceled a fully developed game a few days after the first people started playing...it was that fucking bad.
 
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EggyBreadRedemption

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Sep 6, 2016
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I've heard they have a gaming announcement planned (today but may slip) for a remote play type service to take on Stadia and Xbox.
Will be interesting to see if they can make it work with all that infrastructure to combat lag
 
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They've done nothing but flop with their attempts at gaming so far haven't they?

Amazon if anything is likely planning on getting into game streaming.. and IMO the best strategy to start is to have games that are downloadable to local hardware to go along with your streaming platform, but that'd probably be PC.
 

Ataraxia

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You stacked the deck too much in Amazon's favor with this scenario. Of course I'd be down for the most power gaming console on the market with the best developer support and a free year of prime for which I pay anyway.

A more intriguing thought experiment would be a digital-only Amazon system for $400 that isn't quite as powerful as PS5 or Series X, or has as much developer support, but includes free Prime and Music Unlimited as long as you own the system and purchase at least three new games per year. It would be hard for those of us already heavily invested in Amazon's ecosystem to resist.
 

Rikkori

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You overestimate the power of money & underestimate the difficulty of getting games studios up and running and also profitable. There's too much corpo bureaucracy for these giants to do it well, hell MS only succeeded because they had the leader make it a visionary point early on for them (Billy Gates). Were they to start Xbox today it would fall flat on its face just like Amazon is currently doing with their Games studios. You cannot overstate the cutthroat and backstabbing nature of corporate politics, which will happily hamper & hold back progress for new divisions, especially ones that risk upstaging existing money makers.
Besides, this market is tapped already, hence why there's little growth to be had and instead it's about milking and fighting over existing customers - something a lot less enticing given the stiff competition that exists. That's why the major focus will be around cloud gaming instead - there's a lot more room to grow and there's a lot less fighting = win & win.
 
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losslessFlac

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You overestimate the power of money & underestimate the difficulty of getting games studios up and running and also profitable. There's too much corpo bureaucracy for these giants to do it well, hell MS only succeeded because they had the leader make it a visionary point early on for them (Billy Gates). Were they to start Xbox today it would fall flat on its face just like Amazon is currently doing with their Games studios. You cannot overstate the cutthroat and backstabbing nature of corporate politics, which will happily hamper & hold back progress for new divisions, especially ones that risk upstaging existing money makers.
Besides, this market is tapped already, hence why there's little growth to be had and instead it's about milking and fighting over existing customers - something a lot less enticing given the stiff competition that exists. That's why the major focus will be around cloud gaming instead - there's a lot more room to grow and there's a lot less fighting = win & win.

What is the appeal of cloud gaming? Playing console quality games on your phone? But your phone has a horrendous control scheme that won't map well to controllers. If you are outside, your data usage with be too high. If you are using Wifi at home, just play it on PC/console.
 

Rikkori

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What is the appeal of cloud gaming?
Playing console quality games on your phone?
Yup. Mobility is a great thing.

But your phone has a horrendous control scheme that won't map well to controllers.
It maps quite well generally, and for edge cases you can just use a controller add-on which then puts you at least on par with regular gamepads.

If you are outside, your data usage with be too high.
Maybe. Location dependant. This can easily change as ISPs buy into it (we already see exemptions for Youtube/Netflix etc no reason they can't add gamepass or whatever). And speed wise - 5G isn't getting heavily pushed for nothing.

If you are using Wifi at home, just play it on PC/console.
What if you don't want to buy one of those? This way you can even have it as an app on your TV directly. Much cheaper too.

Keep in mind, when I talk about this & same applies for publishers themselves - we're not thinking this year or the next, we're thinking 10 year planning and the like. And this isn't to say that it will replace consoles or PC or whatever else, but purely as an additional market.
 

-Arcadia-

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With what it takes to compete in console gaming, and a risk of losing it all, every 8 years, I'd be surprised if we ever see any more competitors.

It's such a bloodthirsty market. Even Microsoft, a fixture, was somewhat forced into spending eight billion on a single acquisition the other day, with no guarantee that it will change things significantly.

At this point, you have to have some combination of a history, creative genius, software and hardware, huge pockets and dedication, and cutting-edge hardware design. Institutions like Alphabet, that don't realize that, and plunge in, usually have no idea what they're getting into, and are near instantly chewed up and spat out.
 

Cert.in.Death

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Amazon clearly wants in on the distribution business and they have their sights fixed toward PC. But invariably they're going to bump up against the same artificial ceiling brought on by competition if the only devices they can distribute on are Android and Windows (plus they don't do anything better than the likes of GOG, Steam, or Epic except for streaming)

Amazon already has their distribution channel - Twitch - arranged to pivot into other areas. Their biggest problem is content: their first-party investments have not produced anything of sufficient quality to garner interest but they could definitely overshadow and setup the next war by pursuing a major publisher (Activision-Blizzard and Ubisoft both come to mind as possible targets).

I'm still of the mind that the best way to break into console business is through curating innovative design and making the next big thing rather than by scooping up existing properties. That's basically how Nintendo (Mario) and MS (Halo) managed to gain a foothold. Guess the alternative route would be to innovate technologically, but that's not what is core to Amazon's operations and prohibitively expensive to break into.
 

Mokus

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I don't they are ready to support properly a console. It would be dead on arrival.
 

Stuart360

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Why are people suddenly scared of Amazon?, have you all forgotten about GOOGLE Stadia? ( which is easy to do to be fair).
 

Calhoun

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They really don't care about consoles. Just a waste of money, time and effort for them and the profits generated is like pocket money to gigantic companies like Amazon and Google.
 

diffusionx

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Why are people suddenly scared of Amazon?, have you all forgotten about GOOGLE Stadia? ( which is easy to do to be fair).

Just from the announcement today, Amazon's service is far superior. They clearly have people in the building who understand vidya in a way Google do not, which makes sense considering how many of them they sell.
 
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Just from the announcement today, Amazon's service is far superior. They clearly have people in the building who understand vidya in a way Google do not, which makes sense considering how many of them they sell.
Nah, I use aws everyday. Their support service is nice. But they also always over promise things. just another service provider.
 

Rhazer Fusion

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If it more GAAS, microtransactions-filled games and incomplete games with subscriptions and streaming only, then I’ll pass. Another competitor would be fine, but hopefully they’ll bring something new to the market besides all the negative stuff I don’t like about modern gaming.

Some worthwhile exclusives would be good as well to make it stand out from the rest, but I’m not holding my breath for that.