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Microsoft and Sony announce partnership to develop cloud gaming products

Microsoft and Sony form an unusual partnership as the two rivals face competition from Google and Apple in the gaming segment.

  • Published: May 20, 2019 5:26 PM IST
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Gaming is the next big growth segment for technology companies and with a new partnership, Sony and Microsoft have officially acknowledged it. Sony and Microsoft have announced an unusual partnership where the two rivals will work together on development of cloud-based gaming solutions. Microsoft and Sony have been rivals in the gaming segment for a really long time and the partnership announced last week shows how the Redmond-based software giant is going across the aisle to find new partnerships and shunting old rivalry to prepare itself for a cross platform product development.

“Under the memorandum of understanding signed by the parties, the two companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services,” Microsoft said in a statement. “In addition, the two companies will explore the use of current Microsoft Azure data center-based solutions for Sony’s game and content-streaming services. By working together, the companies aim to deliver more enhanced entertainment experiences for their worldwide customers. These efforts will also include building better development platforms for the content creator community.”

The announcement could mean that Sony and Microsoft will collaborate on future services that could be aimed at creators and the gaming community. The announcement comes at a crucial juncture when Apple and Google are building their own gaming services to challenge the incumbents in this category. At Games Developer Conference, Google announced Stadia, a cloud-based game streaming platform that promises to offer unparalleled gaming across device portfolio and while at its March Services event, Apple introduced Arcade as a dedicated gaming platform for iPhone users.

Mobile gaming is at the center of growth in gaming across the world and both Apple and Google want to establish an early lead in this segment. Microsoft and Sony have focused on console and PC gaming for long and the partnership could help in them expanding their game titles and services on each other’s platforms. The two companies also plan to collaborate in the areas of AI and semiconductors. In a blog post, both the companies announced they could jointly develop “new intelligent image sensor solutions” and integrate Sony’s image sensors with Microsoft’s Azure AI technology for access across cloud and edge.

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“Sony is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. We collaborate closely with a multitude of content creators that capture the imagination of people around the world, and through our cutting-edge technology, we provide the tools to bring their dreams and vision to reality,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony.

“Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers.”

The collaboration in the field of AI will involve incorporation of Microsoft’s AI platform and tools in Sony’s consumer products. The two companies confirmed that they will share additional information when it becomes available. Whether Microsoft and Sony become a collaborator in gaming needs to be seen but for now, Microsoft has won a big client in its competition with Amazon Web Services as it aims to become a bigger player in cloud services offering.

  • Published Date: May 20, 2019 5:26 PM IST