Rivalries between companies in the gaming industry are strong these days. We have instances like the duel between Epic Games and Valve that really bring out the bitter competitive nature that the gaming industry fosters. However, once in a blue moon, we see something totally unexpected where even the worst of rival companies can shake hands and do business together. Sony and Microsoft are two companies that have a very long history of trying to one up each other. They are undoubtedly the top players in the console gaming market and trade blows during every console generation. In an unprecedented move, however, Microsoft and Sony have announced the start of a very unusual partnership. The gaming giants have joined forces and are about to go on a cloud-based gaming venture together.
The partnership comes as a result of Microsoft pushing towards a more inclusive and friendly industry for years now. It is a strategic partnership and will be geared towards sharing technologies, information and infrastructure between the two companies. The companies are going to develop cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure during this partnership. Since Microsoft Azure has been a successful tool for creators since its launch, Sony will also leverage Azure’s capabilities to enhance its own gaming and streaming services. Other than using Azure, Microsoft and Sony will also be working together on semiconductors and artificial intelligence. This will include intelligent image sensor solutions and user-friendly AI experiences.
Why would Sony and Microsoft enter into a partnership?
The move makes sense since both the companies are proficient at different things and coming together would be like a couple of jigsaw puzzle pieces being joined together. Sony has all the infrastructure and hardware capabilities on deck. On the flipside, Microsoft has made some massive leaps in cloud-computing and AI development over the past few years. Microsoft has what Sony needs and Sony has what Microsoft needs. So, this would be a win-win for both companies.
“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. 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.”, said Kenichiro Yoshida, the president and CEO of Sony.
On Microsoft’s side of the table, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft said that through this partnership, Microsoft could work with Sony to bring new entertainment and gaming experiences the likes of which we’ve never seen before. They are determined to build further upon the relationship and start their journey towards a new path of innovation. The Azure AI will prove to be an integral part in what’s to come as a result of this venture.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) May 16, 2019
Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, has been pushing towards a more inclusive gaming industry for years. He has been a strong advocate of delivering the best experience for consumer no matter what platform it is on. Sony has also recently started to allow cross-platform gaming between the Xbox and the PlayStation 4. This has all been possible due to the constant push for cross-platform gaming by the community and Phil Spencer. In a tweet, he expressed his excitement at the future prospects of this partnership between Sony and Microsoft.
What does this mean for the future of Xbox and PlayStation?
The partnership is still really fresh so any potential projects could take a while to come into fruition. However, we do know that Microsoft is still pushing to get its Xbox live services to all platforms. It has already somewhat managed to do that with Nintendo Switch and it would not be a surprise if Microsoft also manages to bring it to the PlayStation. Microsoft’s streaming platform, Project xCloud is also potentially one of the things that could make its way to the Sony consoles. Most people predict that Microsoft is trying to move away from the hardware side of things and is really trying to dominate the software space. If Microsoft can somehow convince Sony to have its subscription based services on the PlayStation, this could prove to be a massive win for the company.
However, we should not forget that Sony has its own streaming service called PlayStation Now, which has been lackluster so far. So, Sony could make use of Microsoft’s expertise to improve their own service as well. E3 2019 is only a few weeks away now and it would be interesting to see if any of this is even mentioned during the press conference. Microsoft has big plans for E3 this year and could potentially reveal its next generation consoles. We know a few things about what the next Xbox might be like. Check out everything we know about the next Xbox console right here.
On the flipside, Sony has completely pulled out of E3 and might not even reveal its new console this year. We do have some leaks on what the PlayStation 5 might be though. Check out everything we know about the PlayStation 5 right here.