Sony and Microsoft announced a partnership to focus on improving cloud gaming, AI solutions, and more. No, pigs aren’t flying and hell hasn’t frozen over. This isn’t a partnership that will allow for cross-platform play, so don’t get too excited.
The two tech giants signed a “memorandum of understanding” which establishes both companies will explore “joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services.” They will also explore the use of current Microsoft Azure datacenter-based solutions for Sony’s game and content streaming services, noting that these efforts will include building better development platforms for the content creator community.
The partnership will also explore collaboration in the areas of semiconductors and AI. The companies intend to integrate Sony’s image sensors with Microsoft’s Azure AI tech across cloud and edge, and leverage Sony’s semiconductors and Microsoft’s cloud technology.
“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,” said president and CEO of Sony Kenichiro Yoshida. “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.”
“Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers.”
While this partnership is certainly a positive step for both companies, it doesn’t necessarily signal the two working together like Microsoft and Nintendo have on expanding Xbox Live and bringing Cuphead to Nintendo Switch.
However, Microsoft has been leading the pack with cloud services, which counts for a majority of their revenue. Sony, on the other hand, hasn’t had as much luck with their PlayStation Now streaming service, while Microsoft is making some gains in that area. We can, almost, be certain that Google’s Stadia has something to do with the companies working together. However, anything that can get Sony and Microsoft to work together can (hopefully) only be a good thing.