Sony And Microsoft Announce Partnership, With Big Focus On AI And Cloud-Based Technology

You can rest easy, there's no 'PlayXboxStation' on the horizon. Yet.
Kenichiro Yoshida, President and CEO, Sony Corporation (left), and Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
Kenichiro Yoshida, President and CEO, Sony Corporation (left), and Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft Microsoft/Sony

It’s a straight-up crossover episode, as Sony and Microsoft jointly announce just yesterday a partnership to end all partnerships.

No, you won’t be seeing an XboxStation anytime soon. The partnership was enacted in order to focus on “new innovations to enhance customer experiences in their direct-to-consumer entertainment platforms and AI solutions.”

What’s even weirder than two rival companies setting aside the everlasting console wars is that Sony is looking to opt into a deal that does not involve exclusivity. The main focus of the partnership is the “joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services.” This essentially means that Xbox has impressed even Sony with their cloud-based technology, one which will power Microsoft’s upcoming xCloud service.

In addition to all of this, Sony is looking to opt into Microsoft’s Azure datacenter-based solutions for its game and content-streaming services. This may cause ripples for the future of the industry, as their collaboration could actually provide some meaningful solutions to issues with the burgeoning game-streaming services.

It is interesting that this partnership managed to happen. Sony has, for years, maintained their brand of exclusivity on their platform, even going so far as to decline any attempts at crossplay. This new move, however, seems to be of mutual benefit to both companies. Sony gets to play with Microsoft Azure, and maybe improve their own burgeoning streaming platform, while Microsoft will make some use out of Sony’s semiconductor expertise. As part of the joint agreement, both companies will also try to develop new intelligent image sensor solutions. Combine that with the Azure AI technology, and we could see some serious leap in technology, all of which will most probably benefit us humans better than a box that plays video games.

That said, I’m still hoping that this partnership opens up both companies to the idea of cooperating more, particularly when it comes to crossplay. It shouldn’t matter which platform you choose to play on, just who you’re playing it with. With Microsoft and Nintendo already in some sort of working relationship, the future just got a bit brighter for gaming.


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