In a huge twist nobody saw coming, Sony and Microsoft, companies’ behind the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One respectively, are joining forces.
By sharing technology and information and building a foundation off shared infrastructures for future plans, the two companies will be working together to develop cloud solutions with Microsoft Azure technology.
Sony will utilise Azure for its own gaming and content-streaming services, and it will help in creating better tools for content creators as well. The agreement extends to hardware as well, such as semiconductors, and artificial intelligence.
Bringing the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers https://t.co/cMRKFE74Yk
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) May 16, 2019
The caveat being that the announcement does not mention PlayStation or Xbox specifically, although the language suggests the partnership will focus on consumer entertainment platforms, like gaming.
“PlayStation itself came about through the integration of creativity and technology,” president of Sony, Kenichiro Yoshida said. “Our mission is to seamlessly evolve this platform as one that continues to deliver the best and most immersive entertainment experiences, together with a cloud environment that ensures the best possible experience, anytime, anywhere.
For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course the two companies have also been competing in some areas. I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content.”
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella added,
“Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation. Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers.”
Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer also added his two cents to the conversation via Twitter.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) May 16, 2019
While the announcement may be shocking, it is still in its early stages. The fruits that it will bear will take some considerable time, but this could mean a change in the streaming and cloud gaming landscape. PlayStation Now, xCloud, and Google Stadia will eventually fight it out for consumers’ time and money, not to mention the next generation consoles.