In the most surprising news of today, Microsoft and Sony officially announced a new partnership to work together on cloud-based solutions for content and gaming and artificial intelligence research. The announcement doesn’t explicitly talk about Xbox or PlayStation but confirmed gaming would be a part of their partnership.
“Under the memorandum of understanding signed by the parties, the two companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services,” Microsoft announced. “In addition, the two companies will explore the use of current Microsoft Azure datacenter-based solutions for Sony’s game and content-streaming services.”
Using Microsoft Azure, the two companies plan on supporting their respective platforms and deliver content. In addition, this new deal allows Sony the option to explore how to implement Azure datacenter solutions for Sony platforms. Basically, Sony is now allowed to use Azure to deliver content and games, which is huge. Together, both parties aim to deliver “enhanced entertainment experiences.” This could very well lead to the PlayStation 5 using cloud-based gaming or something else entirely.
Phil Spencer tweeted the news and his excitement for the opportunities this new partnership offers:
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) May 16, 2019
After Google revealed their new cloud-based gaming platform Stadia, I was curious to see how Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo would respond. So far, it’s been crickets but this partnership may likely be a way to counter Stadia. It’s unclear what any of this means right now but it is certainly interesting, to say the least.
How will this affect gamers? Right now, we can’t say. This news is exciting but it is extremely vague about the intention. We really don’t know anything about their plans.
On this new partnership, CEO of Sony, Kenichiro Yoshida briefly spoke about the news. He acknowledged that they’ve always been key business partners but also rivals in some other areas. “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. I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content. Additionally, I hope that in the areas of semiconductors and AI, leveraging each company’s cutting-edge technology in a mutually complementary way will lead to the creation of new value for society.”