Microsoft Corp and Sony Corp on Thursday said a Tactical Broke Partnership where Sony would utilize the cloud of Microsoft for streaming media and games and both would work together to create image detectors that are new. By doing this, the pair also aim to build better development platforms for content creators out there as well.
In a surprising move, console gaming rivals Microsoft and Sony have formed a streaming partnership.
Separately, Sony unveiled a partnership with Microsoft to bolster their video game streaming and other streaming services. Sony will also incorporate Microsoft's AI platform and tools in Sony consumer products, "to provide highly intuitive and user-friendly AI experiences". That presumably includes PlayStation Now-the Sony game-streaming service launched in 2014 after Sony's 2012 acquisition of streaming company Gaikai-and PlayStation Vue, the company's Internet-based cable TV alternative.
Essentially, you can think of it as a hardware vs software thing - Sony is helping out with development on semiconductors and using current Azure technology; while Microsoft is helping Sony out with AI and more. Of course, although Switch is in its plans, and Cuphead is the main example, they will go little by little and play by the game to guarantee the maximum compatibility.
This isn't a merger, and this isn't Microsoft and Sony setting aside their competition in gaming.
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The announcement also said that the two companies would also "explore collaboration in the areas of semiconductors and AI (artificial intelligence)".
Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform will be used by the two rivals to support game and digital content streaming services, according to a statement from the companies.
Sony already has a significant footing in games streaming - its PS Now service, which offers streaming access to the PlayStation back catalogue, accounts for 36% share of the $387m global games streaming market, said analyst Piers Harding-Rolls, from IHS Markit.
Beyond that, Sony and Microsoft are even teaming up on the "potential joint development" of "intelligent image sensor solutions".
Sony and Microsoft will also collaborate on semiconductors and artificial intelligence, potentially combining the Japanese company's sensors and chips with the U.S. computer titan's cloud systems and artificial intelligence. What effect will this have on Google Stadia? We could see Sony make use of this technology to boost its own cloud services.