PlayStation Boss Rules Out Merger With Xbox

Rumors of the death of the console wars have been greatly exaggerated.

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Microsoft and Sony recently made a surprise announcement that they were agreeing to a strategic partnership for gaming and cloud services, specifically using Microsoft's own Azure infrastructure. Two of the biggest console manufacturers working together was big news, but it doesn't mean the PlayStation and Xbox brands are joining forces.

In an interview with the Financial Times, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan ruled out any kind of larger merger afoot.

"There is to my knowledge... no scenario where the PlayStation and Xbox platforms combine," Ryan said. "The two platforms will remain separate with their own separate identities and brands and fans."

The deal does, however, give Sony a more robust back-end for its PlayStation Now streaming service thanks to Azure datacenters. It appears that the company is seeing competition coming between Google Stadia and Microsoft's xCloud and wants to be prepared to match with its own service.

"We are getting more confident with the [PlayStation Now] service and we are really going to start to push it hard this year and the year to follow," Ryan said. He also suggested that Sony has resolved the technical end of PlayStation Now and can focus its efforts on lining up content.

Shortly after the deal was announced, we learned that PlayStation was largely left out of the negotiations. It was a high-level deal between Microsoft and Sony, rather than between the Xbox and PlayStation divisions at the companiesm . The report even stated that managers had to calm addled nerves from employees who wondered what this meant for their next console, so fans weren't the only ones wondering about a possible console merger in the works.

Microsoft is likely to further detail its xCloud plans at its E3 2019 press conference. Before then, though, Google is giving a special "Stadia Connect" presentation where it has promised price and launch plans for Google Stadia.

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