Sony and Microsoft announce collaboration on cloud-based gaming servicesPlatforms: Sony PlayStation 4 | Microsoft Xbox One
In what is possibly the most unlikely news story you will see today, Microsoft and Sony have announced that they are to "collaborate on new cloud-based solutions for gaming experiences and AI solutions".
Announced on Microsoft's website, the press release states that "the two companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services". The companies will explore using Microsoft's current Azure datacenters for Sony's own streaming services.
The aim of this collaboration is to "deliver more enhanced entertainment experiences for their worldwide customers". The two tech giants say that the collaboration will also focus on "building better development platforms for the content creator community".
Cloud-based gaming is not the only benefit of the potentially game-changing partnership, AI solutions will also be explored. The companies "will explore incorporation of Microsoft’s advanced AI platform and tools in Sony consumer products, to provide highly intuitive and user-friendly AI experiences".
Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony said on the collaboration, "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".
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella commented, "Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation. Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers".
Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, tweeted about his excitement for the partnership:
This is obviously enormous news for the video game industry. The two leaders in gaming technology coming together to create better technology and better gaming experiences for consumers is unprecedented, especially when there is still very much a rivalry between them.
While this appears to be a collaboration set up for the future (distant future?), due to Microsoft already having their vast Azure datacenters ready for their Project xCloud game-streaming service, Sony could potentially take advantage of Azure as soon as the next-generation.
I bet Google didn't see this coming, that's for sure.