On 16th May, Microsoft and Sony announced their unexpected partnership, allowing the two companies to now partner on cloud-based gaming systems.
In the understanding of the memorandum established, the two companies will proceed to embark on a joint venture on the development of the cloud-based services in Microsoft Azure in order to support their respective gaming and content-streaming services. Sony’s existing services will also be powered by Microsoft Azure
“As part of the memorandum of understanding, Sony and Microsoft will also explore collaboration in the areas of semiconductors and AI,” said a Microsoft statement. “For semiconductors, this includes potential joint development of new intelligent image sensor solutions. By integrating Sony’s cutting-edge image sensors with Microsoft Azure’s AI technology in a hybrid manner across cloud and edge, as well as solutions that leverage Sony’s semiconductors and Microsoft’s cloud technology, the companies aim to provide enhanced capabilities for enterprise customers. In terms of AI, the parties will explore the incorporation of Microsoft’s advanced AI platform and tools in Sony consumer products, provide highly intuitive and user-friendly AI experiences.”
What is their aim?
Microsoft aims to build a platform which is better furnished for the content creators. Thus, hinting at its interest in collaborating with Sony to partner on future services aimed at the creator and the gaming community.
Both companies promise to “share additional information when available”. Their partnership is a big loss for Microsoft’s main cloud rival. Amazon.
This also means that Google will miss out on hosting Sony’s cloud services. It unveiled its Stadia gaming services this month which it chooses to spread to the masses through YouTube. Stadia is a threat to Sony, hence their partnership only gives the latter some underlying infrastructure support to fight back.
A little more about Stadia
It is expected to stream games from the cloud to the Chrome Browser, Chromecast devices, and Pixel devices. Even though Sony provides a gaming service, Microsoft has come forward with promising trials of its own – xCloud gaming service later this year.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO says, “Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers.”