A piece of great news for all gamers who used to be confused to choose between PlayStation and Xbox, Microsoft and Sony who have been rivals since the days of the original Xbox and PlayStation 2, but now it appears the companies are putting some of their differences aside. They have announced that they will be partnering on cloud gaming moving forward. The companies are planning to work together to build future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure that will support gaming and content streaming. Sony will also use Microsoft data centres for its existing game and streaming platforms.
Last week, the companies announced a strategic partnership to co-develop game streaming technology and host some of PlayStation’s online services agreement opens up the possibility of cross-play in the future, despite the previous unwillingness of collaborations between the competing firms. The official team-up, documented in a memorandum of understanding, was announced today, though details are few. But this is clear enough: The two companies will explore the 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 datacentre-based solutions for Sony’s game and content-streaming services. Realizing that his home-grown cloud service isn’t going to cut it, Sony Chief Executive Officer Kenichiro Yoshida is being forced to collaborate, rather than confront his old gaming nemesis. “Sony feels threatened by this trend and the mighty Google, and has decided to leave its network infrastructure build-up to Microsoft,” said Asymmetric Advisors strategist Amir Anvarzadeh.
Ready to Change
This shows “a new Sony” and should be applauded by investors, SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. analyst Ryosuke Katsura wrote in a report. “Management is adapting rapidly to change. “A Sony spokesman confirmed that talks with Microsoft began last year, but declined to provide further details. On Tuesday, executives including PlayStation head Jim Ryan will update shareholders on strategy during the company’s annual investor day. But on their own, Sony and Microsoft both have some major backs or to say weaknesses in the theoretical streaming wars. Microsoft has the cloud infrastructure but its exclusive content leaves a lot to be desired, at least right now. Sony doesn’t have the data centres to compete with major cloud providers, but its first-party development has only one rival that is Nintendo. Together, they stand a much better chance of fending off competition like Google. The key question is who really wins from this collaboration. Most analysts agree that, at least in the short-to-medium term, it’s a positive for Sony. Cloud gaming isn’t ready for prime time yet. When Google unveiled Stadia in March, some users reported mixed results including delays in registering actions and reduced graphics quality.