Sony and Microsoft will be developing a ‘game and content streaming service’ together
In a move that has everything to do with Google’s Project Stadia announcement, Sony and Microsoft have decided to set aside their differences and join forces to take on El Goog in the next generation of the console war. While this may seem like an unlikely partnership, in reality, it makes perfect sense. Sony has always been delivering excellent hardware experiences while Microsoft’s revival has centred around its cloud technology.
“Sony is a creative company with a solid foundation in technology. We collaborate closely with a multitude of content creators that capture the imagination of people all around the world. Through our cutting edge technology, we provide the tools to bring their dreams and visions into reality. For many years, Microsoft has been a key partner for us, though of course, the two companies have also been competing in some areas. I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content.”
Sony President and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida
At the moment this partnership is only an MoU (memorandum of understanding), which explores the use of Microsoft’s Azure data centres supporting Sony’s online services. While they explore the possibility of jointly developing new hardware and AI technology. “These parties will explore the incorporation of Microsoft’s advanced AI platform and tools in Sony consumer products, to provide intuitive and user-friendly AI experiences.”
“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 deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences to our customers”.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
The future of the console market lies in further consolidation amongst the top console powers
The markets have already chosen their mediums of choice when deciding what type of gamers they want to be. As we see technology become more accessible and the mobile market starting to churn games that are reaching closer to this generation’s capabilities, the space for the console market becomes much smaller. Microsoft has failed to deliver on this generation’s expectation with their Xbox One, failing to capture the imagination of the market. Especially when compared to the dominance of Sony’s PS4 or the unexpected innovation of the Nintendo Switch. While they are working on their next console, this partnership could help to strengthen and diversify their offering a little more.
For Sony, they have established themselves as the go-to publisher for AAA titles and have a solid library of content coming in from their Music and Pictures side of the business. Where they have failed to deliver has been on their streaming side of things whether we talk about their PlayStation Now or their foray into PS Vita TV or PlayStation TV. It remains to be seen how they can further strengthen their offering through the vague “AI and new hardware” offering but it will be interesting to see where the future takes us.