Seemingly out of nowhere, both Sony and Microsoft have just announced that they will be partnering up for a joint strategic project that will involve their own technology, sharing data, and online streaming tools. It’s important to note that in this announcement their is no mention of either the PlayStation of Xbox brand names. Regardless, this will more than likely lead into a focus on the entertainment aspects of gaming as both companies rely heavily on their products for sales.
The particulars of the agreement say that the two corporations will “explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services.” It also states that Sony themselves will use Azure for their own game and streaming services, with an emphasis on creating better tools for content creators. Lastly, the two companies will look into working on making better semiconductors and artificial intelligence.
“Sony is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology.” said Sony President Kenichiro Yoshida. “We collaborate closely with a multitude of content creators that capture the imagination of people around the world, and through our cutting-edge technology, we provide the tools to bring their dreams and vision to reality. 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.”
Although this was just announced, it’s still an unprecedented event in the gaming community. Both companies have engaged in a fierce rivalry for years over their PlayStation and Xbox products, and while their was never a clear winner, its safe to say that Sony and Microsoft have benefited from the competition in droves. With the video game landscape slowly gearing its way to digital only-streaming content, both companies obviously recognize that if they want to succeed in the future, they need to set aside some differences and work together.
With Google revealing their own service, the Google Stadia, as well as Microsoft’s own streaming service the xCloud, we wouldn’t be surprised to see in just a few years time that all major releases are digital only. E3 2019 is just around the corner, it’s not entirely clear if this new partnership will be talked about leading up to or during the show. Sony themselves have decided not to hold a press conference or even attend the event, so it might just be up to Microsoft to spill the beans if they have the chance. Either way, this will shape the community for years to come.