Sony and Microsoft forge cloud gaming partnership

By Sameer Mitha | Updated May 17 2019
Sony and Microsoft forge cloud gaming partnership
HIGHLIGHTS

Microsoft and Sony have announced a partnership.

Companies will collaborate on new cloud-based solutions for gaming.

No concrete details about the partnership are known.

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If you have the slightest knowledge about the world of gaming, then you know that both Sony and Microsoft are rivals on the console gaming battlefield. Both the companies have been hard at work fighting for your attention and hard earned money. It was quite a surprise when all the three players - Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo took the stage at the Game Awards 2018 and the sight was definitely one to behold. We thought that was probably the last time the big names in console gaming would share a stage together. However, it doesn't seem to be the case. 

Microsoft has issued a release which talks about the collaboration between Microsoft and Sony. They are collaborating in the field of cloud gaming. The release reads, “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. In addition, the two companies will explore the use of current Microsoft Azure datacenter-based solutions for Sony’s game and content-streaming services. By working together, the companies aim to deliver more enhanced entertainment experiences for their worldwide customers. These efforts will also include building better development platforms for the content creator community.”

The release does not go into details about the solutions that Microsoft will offer Sony and vice versa but let's try to join the dots. A little company called Google decided to enter the gaming arena but their product isn't a traditional console that will sit under your TV. It is a cloud gaming solution with the ability to allegedly run on any device with an internet connection. The company had given quite an impressive demo and you can read all the details about Google’s cloud gaming solution called Stadia here. Here’s the exciting part - Stadia is expected to launch in 2019. But Google isn't the only one working with cloud gaming. Microsoft has its own Project xCloud which will enter public testing in 2019. Microsoft has given a demo of Forza Horizon 4 running on an Android smartphone connected to an Xbox One controller. You can check out the details of Project xCloud here.  

Sony is the only company with an active cloud gaming solution called PlayStation Now. The service has a few hundred games as a part of its library and is available to devices like the PS4, PS TV, PC and more. However, the service is available in limited markets. 

Before you wonder why it makes sense for Sony and Microsoft to tie up for something like this, know that it is possible that Sony and Microsoft are going to use the strength of each other to improve their own services. That's an oversimplification, but let me elaborate. Even though Netflix and Prime Videos are rivals in the market, Netflix uses AWS to stream content to the world. This means that even though Prime Videos and Netflix are rivals to the consumer, they are business partners for the service AWS provides. It could be that Sony and Microsoft are working in a similar manner. 

“Sony is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. 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,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony. “PlayStation itself came about through the integration of creativity and technology. 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. 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.”

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Sameer Mitha

Sameer Mitha lives for gaming and technology is his muse. When he isn’t busy playing with gadgets or video games he delves into the world of fantasy novels.

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