In a move that apparently surprised Sony’s PlayStation division
, the two companies have announced a major partnership around utilising Microsoft Azure
"to support their respective game and content-streaming services". Which in essence means PlayStation
servers sharing the same data centre space and possibly even the same AI technology for streaming and other delivery.
, which features a friendly shot of Kenichiro Yoshida, President and CEO, Sony Corporation and Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft shaking hands, caught many in the industry by surprise. Especially with the wording that all-but implies the use of Microsoft technology and data centres to deliver key PlayStation services. Perhaps even extending to using something like Microsoft's Project xCloud streaming technology for the PlayStation 5's eventual cloud-streaming capabilities.
In addition, the two companies will explore the use of current Microsoft Azure datacenter-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 partnership isn't simply on way either as Microsoft will benefit from Sony's own advances in image-processing technology that will see the two companies share and develop new technologies.
"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," said Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony. "I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content. Additionally, I hope that in the areas of semiconductors and AI, leveraging each company’s cutting-edge technology in a mutually complementary way will lead to the creation of new value for society.”
“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.”
Here's hoping that this is a major step towards lowering the platform barriers.