Microsoft And Sony Make Nice, Announce Partnership For Gaming And Cloud Services

Nobody expected that.

179 Comments

Microsoft and Sony--the company's behind Xbox One and PS4 respectively--revealed this week that they have established a strategic partnership. The two companies plan on sharing technology and information going forward and build upon shared infrastructures for some of their future initiatives. Nowhere in the announcement are Xbox or PlayStation named, but its wording implies Microsoft and Sony's partnership will specifically focus on consumer entertainment platforms like gaming.

Specifically, the agreement (a memorandum of understanding) says that the two will jointly develop future cloud solutions within Microsoft Azure. It also says that Sony will use Microsoft Azure for its own game and content-streaming services--although Sony's PlayStation Now is not mentioned specifically--including a push to build better tools for content creators. The two are also committing to work together on semiconductors and artificial intelligence.

"PlayStation itself came about through the integration of creativity and technology," Sony president Kenichiro Yoshida said in the announcement. "Our mission is to seamlessly evolve this platform as one that continues to deliver the best and most immersive entertainment experiences, together with a cloud environment that ensures the best possible experience, anytime, anywhere. For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course the two companies have also been competing in some areas. I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content."

"Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation,” added Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers."

Xbox head Phil Spencer and Nadella also followed up with tweets that stressed the entertainment and gaming aspect of the partnership.

The partnership has only just been announced, so any results from it could take a while to manifest. The mention of Microsoft's cloud solutions in gaming comes just as Microsoft is planning its own streaming platform, xCloud, which will compete directly with Google Stadia. As noted above, it's unclear how or if this deal could impact PlayStation's streaming platform, PlayStation Now.

With E3 2019 only weeks away, it's unclear if this new strategic partnership will be discussed. We do know Microsoft is planning to "go big" while Sony has opted out of the show altogether. Check out the full schedule of press conferences for more details.

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Moonco

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Moonco  Moderator

Don't worry, I'll still be lighting the match to start the flames. Although I'll have less material to work with from now on :-p

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Pupchu

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Another irrefut.... eeh..?!

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santinegrete

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They work togheter? We're screwed!

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illegal_peanut

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Will it give us more games for Xbox? Because that is all I care about honestly.

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Shuttle_Cock

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Fanboys heads be exploding right now

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KiriharaZro

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"The end begins"

Kratos prophesied this

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untouchables111

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sony and MS working together on cloud services is in large because MS has a huge network already installed in the US. where sony does not.

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naruto945

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Wowza

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lorddaggeroff

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Edited By lorddaggeroff

The have no choice but join partnerships when dealing with amd ecosystem, it's cost effective to share it financially and with raytracing under the hood on both soon to come hardwares Sony and Microsoft will need each other even more.

E3 dying so the purpose of it isn't in the interest of the consumer.

Sorry sorry I mean planet America.

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owizeisme1

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Would be nice to have just ONE EPIC mature console for all companies to develop for, that NOT lame kiddie nintendo or stupid PC that you have to upgrade every time a game comes out.

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Rolento25

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@owizeisme1:

So much stupid in one post.

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untouchables111

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@owizeisme1: ...what...upgrade what on a PC?

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xbhonner

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@owizeisme1: Xbox needs to die for it to be realized

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owizeisme1

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@xbhonner: Go away fanboy

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Slash_out

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"Microsoft and Sony--the company's behind Xbox One and PS4 respectively--"

Thank you, this being a gaming website we, including me, didn't know that...

11 • 
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Erebus

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While I'm sure we all can't avoid feeling the warm fuzzies from this, but need I remind you that competition is GOOD?

Remember when Microsoft was going to destroy used game sales and the like by limiting activations with physical media and Sony mocked them for it? Not gonna' go down that way next time -- if you follow. When big companies join forces, the consumer suffers -- almost always.

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Barighm

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Edited By Barighm

@Erebus: It's not that kind of partnership. As someone else said, it's just a nice way of saying Sony is buying Azure servers so as not to look bad. It's no different than Sony buying Windows and interacting with MS to set up their PCs. Maybe we'll get crossplay out of it. If it's any more complicated than that, I'll be surprised. Can you imagine getting Game Pass on the Playstation? Freaky.

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untouchables111

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@Erebus: i mean.... yes but when they are both loosing and in a world where social media power rains down firey shit storms on their plans.

working together to allow cross platform play and share cloud services can make them a lot of money and avoid all the shaming

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Atzenkiller

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Great. Now I can't even avoid MS by buying a Playstation. More Cloud bullshit, since it's the future and all that.

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owizeisme1

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@Atzenkiller: And we cant avoid Ponies with all their stealing of everyone else technology. Get over yourself.

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Atzenkiller

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@owizeisme1: How old are you? 5?

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xbhonner

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@owizeisme1: Stealing technology? They stole what? Speaking about technology, you micro$oft sex slave should look at yourself in the mirror. Micro$oft windows was a stolen product. And micro$oft copied Sony many times, Including the pathetic Kinect.

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Jrxbarrett

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@xbhonner: Sony needing Microsoft must hurt. It's okay. We are all a family here.

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Reznik00

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@Jrxbarrett: Except it's MS that needs Sony. Are you one of the few left in the world that doesn't realize MS is taking Xbox (the brand) 3rd party? Xbox Live is their ONLY good asset and even then it's a crock that consumers have to pay for it. Still though, they have more active Live subscribers than any other gaming service, offering that sort of connectivity to Nintendo and now apparently Sony is great. MS made the Xbox One irrelevant years ago, now it's doing it ahead of Anaconda. Two gens in a row where you factually don't need their console, but you still need a Nintendo and a PlayStation.

Competition is a good thing, MS is playing buddy buddy to share, they're doing it to remain relevant in a business they couldn't cut it in. Now they're finding their niche.

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Barighm

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Edited By Barighm

@Jrxbarrett: MS needed Sony first. MS chose HD DVD, but that format lost. Where do you think MS got those blu-ray drives from?

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Shilleto

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@Barighm: not from sony they don't own it

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Tomcat2007

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Good move. Sony desperately needs a larger cloud infrastructure, and Microsoft desperately needs more gaming market share so this is an equal win-win.

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Vodoo

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Edited By Vodoo

I said before that Google should not be taken lightly. They already have Ubisoft on board.

Though I thought Sony purchased a streaming service company, Gaikei, a few years ago? I guess MS's Azure network is more advanced?

Makes the Google Stadia that much more intriguing if 2 competitors are working together to combat it. They may have crossplay between Xbox and PS on Azure and leave Google out.

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MileHighBossman

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@Vodoo: Gaikei = Playstation Now. So yeah, Azure is much more advanced

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Nabinator

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@Vodoo: Google is so big, that they're right to take that threat seriously, even if Google hasn't shown any tech. It's a preemptive strike, and possibly a very successful one to keep Google out.

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Sonofsamus

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It seems like MS is slowly changing its place in the gaming market with a possible Nintendo partnership to bring gamepass to switch and helping Sony with the cloud...hmmm.

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Avatar image for Vodoo
Vodoo

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@sonofsamus: I'm pretty sure Sony is paying handsomely to use MS's Azure network. It's not being offered for free. And they stand to gain money from Nintendo subs because they're already paying companies to use their games on Game Pass.

Think of it just how Google offers all its services on Apple devices, yet Apple keeps their stuff proprietary.

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lonesamurai00

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Edited By lonesamurai00

Fear of the Goog.

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Nabinator

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Looks like Google scared them a little.

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Barighm

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Edited By Barighm

@nabinator: Understandable. MS has the resources to enter this whole cloud based gaming world. So does Google and Amazon. Sony COULD build an equally diverse and effective infrastructure, but that would cost them in game development and marketing. Given how far they are lagging in this space, that would probably cost enough to exclude them from doing both.

So what do you do when the cloud based giants rise? The only thing you can do: double down on game development and traditional gaming and remind everyone why you're still the best name in gaming. If you have to ride on one of the giant's shoulders until you're ready to take them on yourself, so be it.

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Nabinator

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@Barighm: Agreed. I think it's quite the smart partnership actually. Microsoft has the cloud based tech, and are some of the best in the world at it, but Sony has the games, shown by their dominance with this gen. We've known for a while Microsoft seems more interested at third party support these days, so I'm very interested to see how this plays out. Could be a win, win.

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Vodoo

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@Barighm: Didn't Sony purchase Gaikai, the streaming service a few years ago? Why would they need MS?

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Barighm

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@Vodoo: They did and they used it to create PS Now.

And that's the head scratcher. The only thing we can assume is they have reason to believe their tech sucks compared to whatever new tech MS and Google intend to roll out. Remember, Gaikai is based on 10 year old tech created at the birth of all this stuff. Whatever Google is doing now, and I suppose MS and Amazon as well, is much newer and, I suppose, much better.

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Noctisumbra

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@Barighm: eh. Your partially right. I have to preface this next part: I work for MS in one of their Datacenters and can speak to the hardware, to an extent.

The biggest benefit is the sheer amount of infrastructure available for a streaming service. Sure AWS is huge, but outside of their massive presence on the East Coast, I don't know how spread out their datacenters are, which is important, since latency can be a streaming service killer. I know that MS is very spread out, as is Google.

Then there is the question of platform flexibility. If the cloud platform isn't flexible enough then it hinders service development and deployment. Hardware isn't really going to be an issue, because all of the big players are constantly upgrading the hardware.

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Barighm

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@noctisumbra: No, I pretty much covered that stuff.

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ALLIAMOS

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I love Earth

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