Microsoft and Sony recently announced a surprising partnership last week that will see the companies join forces to develop future cloud solutions for game and content streaming services. The announcement came even as Sony had hinted that it is currently exploring the possibilities of venturing into cloud gaming during its recent PS5 demo release.
While both companies have spent the last 15 years battling for gamers approval over their respective Playstation and Xbox consoles; Sony is now enlisting Microsoft’s vast cloud experience to help power its existing and future streaming services. Microsoft sealed the deal with Sony to fend off rival gaming threats.
The deal came as a surprise to both Xbox and PlayStation fans with reports that even Sony’s own PlayStation team was shocked by the agreement. Apparently, they were kept in the dark the whole time.
Talks between the firms have been on-going since last year and have only been made public this quite recently.
Despite Sony offering its own Playstation Now Streaming service for years, much hasn’t changed since the service was launched. The tech giant has been generating much of its PlayStation revenue through game sales to console owners. This business model is increasingly being threatened by talks of a future cloud-powered gaming experience that is soon to become a reality.
To secure the necessary infrastructure and content, Sony turned to Microsoft for help in a bid to fend off competitors like Google and Amazon. The two are among the few other tech companies that have enough cloud experience and server power to make cloud gaming a reality in the future.
A statement from Microsoft reads that “The two companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming service”. This statement opens further speculations that the agreement is far much deeper and complex than simply hosting Sony’s services on Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure.
While both companies currently lack cloud-native streaming services, they have taken the hardware powering their respective consoles and placing it into data centers. This method allows them both to offer larger game libraries from their cloud streaming services. Developers will ultimately not have to worry about how their games will run off a server.
However, there is a new puzzle to the cloud gaming deal with the recent interest shown by Nintendo. Rumors suggest that in the past few months, Nintendo has been etching closer to Microsoft and a partnership between the two seems most likely.
It’s fair to imagine that everyone will want a piece of the cake and Microsoft’s ongoing work with Nintendo to promote cross-play gaming might suggest a looming partnership. Alternatively, Nintendo might choose to join forces with Amazon or Google to help power its future services.
The final verdict; Sony and Microsoft are both preparing for an upcoming gaming battle. How these giants play out will determine the course for future gaming exploits and streaming landscape, It is worth noting that none wants to turn over revenue on games to a competing cloud game store. The giants are also sending the industry a clear message that they are not willing to give up their current gaming dominance to new entrants like Amazon or even Google.