The PlayStation team would not have been aware of Sony’s plans to collaborate with arch-rival Microsoft in advance. The announcement that Sony wants to use Microsoft’s Azure service for game streams hit the team like a bomb, Bloomberg reports.
Sony and Microsoft announced last week that they want to collaborate in various areas around game infrastructure, semiconductors and artificial intelligence. The announcement surprised the entire gaming industry, but the biggest shock was in Sony’s own PlayStation division. According to financial press agency Bloomberg , negotiations with Microsoft went directly through top executives in Tokyo and the PlayStation team was hardly involved in the deal.
According to Bloomberg, which relies on sources that are familiar with the case, even leaders of the PlayStation division were surprised by the news. They should have calmed the other staff with the message that the plans have no effect on the development of Sony’s next-generation console.
With faster internet connections and better performing cloud services, the need for a physical console disappears in gaming. Sony in particular, where the PlayStation guarantees a third of the profit, is therefore getting hotter. Microsoft also builds consoles, but with its Azure cloud service, the second largest cloud in the world, it has a plan-b. Google and Amazon are also currently developing a cloud service for gaming.
In the past seven years, Sony has been single-handedly trying to launch a cloud platform: the current PlayStation Now. However, that was never the hoped for success. As a result, the Japanese company was more or less forced to seek cooperation, even with one of its biggest competitors.
According to analysts, Sony’s deal with Microsoft is still well on time. In 2023, cloud gaming will only make up two percent of the total income in the game industry, according to market researcher IHS Markit. It also explains why both Sony and Microsoft will most likely release a ‘classic’ console next year.