Microsoft, together with Sony, today announced in a press release that the two organizations would be partnering together “on new innovations to enhance customer experiences in their direct-to-consumer entertainment platforms and AI solutions.”
Or, as we read it: video games and cloud services.
There is a “memorandum of understanding” between the two companies, allowing them to jointly develop solutions in Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, to support each others’ streaming services. It also appears that Sony will use Microsoft’s data centres to host games and other content, likely utilizing this infrastructure for PlayStation Network, PlayStation Plus, and PlayStation Vue services.
The statement says that working together will allow them to “deliver more enhanced entertainment experiences for their worldwide customers [and] building better development platforms for the content creator community.”
Microsoft will be utilizing Sony’s experience in the semiconductor and image sensor space, particularly for use in developing more advanced artificial intelligence systems which will in turn be run with Azure AI technology.
It sounds like the partnership will allow Sony and Microsoft to work together to solve network problems and provide a more seamless experience for developers. The benefit here is to both parties; Sony benefits from the strong networking and cloud prowess that Microsoft has developed over the years, while Microsoft can take advantage of the incredibly hardware experience that Sony has perfected.
This seems like the beginning of a longer partnership that, realistically speaking, could be the beginning of the end for the console wars as we know them today. The next generation Xbox and PlayStation are certainly under development in separate spaces far from each other, however the generation following that one may have a different fate as cloud services and AI begin to take over.
And maybe working together to build something amazing is just the way to do it.