Microsoft, Sony Announce Partnership for Gaming Services

Facing new threats from video game rivals, Microsoft and Sony announced something that some might find surprising: they’re teaming up to work on cloud and game-streaming technologies together. Through the partnership, Sony will consider using Microsoft’s Azure cloud service for streaming its game content, acknowledging the need for a strong cloud solution for game makers. There’s also room within the agreement for a potential collaboration involving Microsoft’s artificial intelligence and Sony’s image sensor clips.

“The pact comes as Sony and Microsoft face brewing competition from Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, two cloud-technology titans with designs on grabbing a share of the $130 billion-and-growing videogame industry,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

Most impressive was Google’s recent release of the “Holy Grail of gaming,” according to WSJ. Called Stadia, it’s a streaming Internet service “where anyone, anywhere can start playing high-end games, with no pricey hardware required.”

While a number of other video game companies allow gamers to stream games, they’re usually older titles that don’t require much in terms of technological demand. “…none has been able to deliver the most complex games in real time to scores of people simultaneously without some slowdown, or lag,” which WSJ notes is an absolute no-go for gamers.

While never on such a grand scale, Sony and Microsoft have teamed up in gaming before. In a press release about the partnership, Sony president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said: “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. I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content.”