Microsoft And Sony Make Nice, Establish Partnership For Gaming And Cloud Services

Ceria Alfonso
May 18, 2019

This will revolve around Microsoft's own Azure cloud technology to support both company's content streaming services, with Azure being touted for datacentre-based solutions that Sony can make use of for the likes of PlayStation Now.

In today's announcement, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said his mission is to evolve the PlayStation platform to ensure "the best possible experience, anytime, anywhere".

Separately, Sony unveiled a partnership with Microsoft to bolster their video game streaming and other streaming services. That presumably includes PlayStation Now-the Sony game-streaming service launched in 2014 after Sony's 2012 acquisition of streaming company Gaikai-and PlayStation Vue, the company's Internet-based cable TV alternative.

Microsoft is testing a streaming service for its Xbox - Project xCloud - which will allow users to play across different devices including phones and tablets.

"I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content", he added. By using Sony's semiconductors with Microsoft's AI technology in Azure, they wish to provide "enhanced capabilities" for enterprise customers, as well as improving AI experiences for everyone. Even Netflix teased that it'll make gaming-related announcements soon.

For gamers eager to discover information about the next-gen PS5 and Xbox Two gaming consoles, then one event at E3 2019 looks like an absolute must: AMD's recently revealed "Next Horizon Gaming" event.

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Streaming games from the cloud brings the potential to access massive amounts of computing power in data centres. We've already talked to several developers about Google Stadia and what that could mean for the future of games.

I need some time to digest this. This would involve tying together Sony's image sensors, Microsoft Azure AI and cloud technology.

According to the Director of Games Research & Lead AR/VR Analyst at IHS Markit, Piers Harding-Rolls, the partnership is about putting differences aside to create a more competitive product.

What does seem likely, at least in the immediate future, is that both companies could be working toward making more of their exclusive titles not just available via the cloud, but developed in the cloud, similar to what Google hopes to achieve with Stadia.

In short, it sounds like Microsoft and Sony are agreeing to a rare intelligence and resource-sharing deal.

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