Amazon is currently planning a large-scale push into the video games industry, with the company working on a mysterious streaming service likely to be organized as the Netflix for interactive entertainment, The Information reports, citing people with knowledge of the initiative. Not many details about the project are currently known, though Amazon is understood to be positioning it as a direct rival to Google's Project Stream and Sony's PlayStation Now, as well as Microsoft's Project xCloud. The effort is closely tied to the Internet juggernaut's Web Services division seeing how the company is seeking to leverage its massive cloud infrastructure in order to power the streaming service internally, sources claim. While the Windows operating system is likely among its targeted platforms, the scope of Amazon's secretive initiative remains unclear. The project is also said to be far from finished and isn't expected to launch until 2020 at the earliest.
Another addition to the ridiculously enormous ecosystem
There's little doubt that Amazon would be looking to add its upcoming game streaming solution to its Prime package, providing consumers with yet another incentive to pay for a subscription to its premium membership which already comes with dozens of benefits, including extra protections, free two-day shipping on eligible items, and a massive library of streamable movies, TV shows, and music. Some services offered to Prime members can also be accessed with an individual subscription in certain parts of the world, though whether or not Amazon's gaming platform ends up being part of that crop will likely depend on how popular it proves to be. Amazon's endless efforts to continue adding value to Prime memberships is largely based on one straightforward statistic – Prime subscribers tend to spend a lot more on its eCommerce platform than regular users do. The Seattle, Washington-based company hence sees new Prime initiatives as loss leaders at worst and potential new revenue generators at best. Today, nearly fourteen years after its launch, the Amazon Prime ecosystem can even be a tempting proposition to consumers who have no intention of shopping on the largest digital marketplace in the world.
Level 100 boss – gaming
While Amazon grew to a nearly unimaginable size since its 1994 beginnings, largely due to its aggressive and often surgically precise diversification efforts, the video gaming industry is one sector wherein the company has yet to achieve any significant success, and not due to a lack of trying. From eSports initiatives and game engines to console games and the $970-million purchase of Twitch — its only gaming unit that can be considered a success, albeit no thanks to Amazon — in 2016, Amazon has been trying to grab a piece of the increasingly more lucrative gaming cake for many years now, though the company's internal projects like the Underground "Actually Free" app service mostly fell flat. Streaming is another avenue that some analysts believe will become a cash cow in the coming years, and with established tech giants such as Sony, Google, and Microsoft now investing significant resources to such solutions, Amazon clearly doesn't want to be left behind, especially given how it already has the physical infrastructure required for hosting such a complex and demanding platform.