Microsoft and Sony announce partnership to explore cloud based solutions for gaming

Alonzo Simpson
May 18, 2019

"The two companies will partner on new innovations to enhance customer experiences in their direct-to-consumer entertainment platforms and AI solutions", the announcement reads, without providing any specifics, but the focus on the gaming side is definitely there. It also says that Sony will use Microsoft Azure for its own game and content-streaming services-although Sony's PlayStation Now is not mentioned specifically-including a push to build better tools for content creators.

This partnership confirms that both Sony and Microsoft are definitely looking into making streaming a viable option for those who prefer playing video games on mobile devices and on PCs.

While PlayStation Now has been around since 2014, Microsoft is currently working on its xCloud service. The partnership puts Microsoft's Azure system at the centre of the strategic plan with both companies using it as a base to develop streaming services, including gaming services. There is the potential for Microsoft to work with Sony on next-gen image sensors utilising Azure AI.

Historically speaking, Sony and Microsoft have gone together about as well as Tom and Jerry, so it should be interesting to see what comes of this new joint partnership.

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Sony and Microsoft, once thought to be bitter rivals in the gaming space, have laid down their guns and extended the olive branch. In the greater scheme of things, Microsoft could also benefit from Sony's bleeding edge sensor and semiconductor technology, which they'll fuse with their Azure AI and cloud technology.

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.

Yoshida continues: "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". However, the datacentre backbone there is not almost as comprehensive as Microsoft Azure, and would not necessarily be able to stand up to Google Stadia on its own. The two companies also want to bring AI to Sony's consumer products, which spread far beyond PlayStation and into many different product categories.

Kenichiro Yoshida, President and CEO, Sony Corporation and Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft Corporation, pose in this undated photo released by the Microsoft Corp. located in Redmond, Washington, U.S., May 16, 2019.

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