An all-out cloud war is brewing and you know it; when two of the most prolific console gaming companies are joining up together in the cloud space, you know that things are about to go down very soon.
Microsoft announced today that they will be partnering up with Sony for “direct-to-consumer” entertainment plaforms, AI solutions and for customer experience; That is to say, cloud-streaming for games.
An excerpt from the Newsroom post also highlights the kind of partnership that both companies are embarking on:
“Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation. […] Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers.”Satya Nadella , CEO, Microsoft
What it entails
We would likely see Microsoft’s cloud technology being leveraged for Sony’s services. Expect services like the current PlayStation Now to be powered by Microsoft’s cloud servers and according to the article, Microsoft will also leverage on Sony’s Embedded Systems for more specific cloud deployments.
Again, the timing of this has to be emphasized. We’re just about a month away from E3 and all the big boys in the Cloud gaming arena are going to be there. Primarily, their other major competitors are Google with Stadia and Amazon with their own cloud-gaming services. Facing tough competition, it is interesting to see two unlikely forces joining up in the ensuing cloud war for market dominance.
Why it makes sense
On the other hand, this partnership makes a lot of sense. Regardless of how well Google and Amazon attracts users and developers alike to their cloud-gaming ecosystem, they would be unable to secure console games or first-party console developers to come on board. This means that if a user wants to play console exclusives on the cloud, their only reprise is to subscribe to the Microsoft/Sony service.
What is not detailed is, however, if both services from both companies would be combined into one. With the advent of Project xCloud and PlayStation Now, we could see a very real possibility of both parties teaming up to form the ultimate console gaming cloud-subscription service (Project xStation?).
At the very least, we now know that Microsoft is providing the hardware and grunt for Sony to host their own services and games on the platform.
As always, we can look forward to E3 to reveal some glimpses to this new partnership. Microsoft’s Xbox conference begins on June 10th on the big stage.