It was announced earlier this week that Microsoft and Sony would be collaborating on some cloud-based gaming and AI features. This was huge news to fans who have been dreaming of some form of collaboration between the two giants for years. Now, the Vice President of Microsoft’s Gaming Division and head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has spoken about the decision. Spencer tweeted the following:
“Excited about the opportunities ahead with @Sony for us to pursue our mutual gaming ambitions and delight players around the world.”
The announcement from Microsoft was only regarding certain cloud-based gaming and AI features. But this tweet from Spencer has fans hopeful about the future of this collaboration. Fans have been dreaming about ideas like Gears of War for the PlayStation or God of War for the Xbox for years. Not to mention, the huge prospect of cross-platform play between the two consoles. While this tweet may not seem particularly dazzling at first sight, trust us, it most definitely is. The head of Xbox tagging Sony on a tweet is something we thought we’d never see.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) May 16, 2019
Microsoft announced earlier this week that it would be collaborating with Sony in hopes of both companies improving their cloud-gaming and AI infrastructure. Microsoft and Sony will be collaborating on two different projects. Firstly, Microsoft will allow Sony’s game/content-streaming services to use its data-center-based solution, Azure. Secondly, the two companies will be developing a joint image sensor solution, fusing existing Sony tech with Azure AI.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, in speaking about the motivation behind this collaboration, commended the rich and successful history of Sony. Nadella said that the collaboration would benefit from Sony’s “history of innovation”. He then went on to describe the specifics of the partnership:
“Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers.”
Sony president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida seemed equally optimistic about the collaboration. Yoshida seemed more honest in his evaluation of Microsoft, saying that the company has both been a partner and a competitor in the past. But he went on to add his hopes that this partnership would leading to the two companies innovating together and creating value for society.
Threats from Google
This peculiar collaboration between the two tech and gaming giants comes at a very specific time. Both these companies have been dominating the gaming market for years, but recently a new threat has emerged. Google announced it would be entering the gaming scene with a brand new streaming service called Stadia. Stadia will be able to stream games right from the cloud via the Chrome browser, Chromecast or any pixel device. And given the fact that google owns YouTube doesn’t help Microsoft and Sony’s case. Google could use the platform to push Stadia to masses. In this light, the collaboration seems like a desperate attempt by the two companies to hold on to what is their’s.