Sony and Microsoft are planning to work together in multiple areas around gaming infrastructure, semiconductors and artificial intelligence. Among other things, Sony wants to use Microsoft’s Azure service for game streams.
Sony and Microsoft have signed a letter of intent about the cooperation plans. It states that both companies are jointly investigating the current and future possibilities of Microsoft Azure for each other’s services around streaming games and other content. Although it is not immediately there, it seems that Sony is opting to run its PlayStation Now game stream service on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.
Microsoft is a big competitor of Sony and it is not only with game consoles, but it also seems to be with game streaming. Microsoft is working on its own xCloud service for Xbox , which will also run on Azure. Kenichiro Yoshida, CEO of Sony acknowledges that in some areas the two companies are competing with each other: “But I believe that our joint development for future cloud services will contribute to the progress of interactive content.”
In addition, both companies report that collaboration should also lead to better development environments for game studios. Microsoft has been trying to make its Azure platform attractive to game companies for some time. They should be able to deploy updates more easily, manage online options and deploy social networks around games. Amazon also serves this market with its cloud platform. The newcomer to the market for game streams, Google Stages, seems to be confronted by fiercer competition.
The cooperation plans also include semiconductor and artificial intelligence. For example, the companies may jointly develop ‘intelligent’ image sensors in which Sony uses its knowledge about those sensors and Microsoft is making progress in artificial intelligence. The intention is for Sony to integrate more artificial intelligence from Azure AI into its consumer products.
The companies are not yet disclosing more details. At least during the coming E3 game fair, Microsoft seems to be making more known about its xCloud game streaming service. Following the announcement of Google Stages, Phil Spencer of Microsoft’s Gaming division, Thurrot said, announced that his company would be big at E3 in this area.