Microsoft and Sony form cloud gaming and AI partnership

Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft and Sony are announcing an unusual partnership today, allowing the two rivals to partner on cloud-based gaming services. “The two companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services,” Microsoft said in a statement. Sony’s existing game and content-streaming services will also be powered by Microsoft Azure in the future.

Microsoft says “these efforts will also include building better development platforms for the content creator community,” which sounds like both Sony and Microsoft are planning to partner on future services aimed at creators and the gaming community. Both companies say they will “share additional information when available,” but the partnership means Microsoft and Sony will collaborate on cloud gaming. That’s a pretty big deal, and it’s a big loss for Microsoft’s main cloud rival, Amazon.

It also means Google, a new gaming rival to Microsoft and Sony, will miss out on hosting Sony’s cloud services. Google unveiled its Stadia game streaming service earlier this year, and the company will use YouTube to push it to the masses. Stadia is a threat to both Microsoft and Sony, and it looks like the companies are teaming up so Sony has some underlying infrastructure assistance to fight back. Stadia will stream games from the cloud to the Chrome browser, Chromecast, and Pixel devices. Sony already has a cloud gaming service, but Microsoft is promising trials of its own xCloud gaming service later this year. Microsoft’s gaming boss, Phil Spencer, has also promised the company will “go big” for E3.

Alongside the cloud gaming and content-streaming partnership, the pair of companies will also collaborate on semiconductors and artificial intelligence (AI). This will include intelligent image sensor solutions that use Azure AI, and Sony using Microsoft’s AI platform in its consumer products.

“Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation,” says 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.”

Comments

Only chance for Sony to break into Cloud Gaming, they do not have the infrastructure (They barely can keep PSN running at this point…).
I assume Microsoft wanted to secure the load for their cloud-platform instead of fighting Sony on Gaming and handing them off to Amazon.

Exactly my thoughts (after the initial WTF reaction had subsided). Also, do they seem terrified of google and amazon coming after their entire business with cloud gaming?

I would assume. At this point Sony and Microsoft (and Nintendo) are the gatekeepers for console gaming. If you want to go around it, you need an expensive gaming PC. Google and Amazon are going after that business model, with the infrastructure that makes them a much bigger threat than small cloud gaming startups

-"Expensive gaming PC……" Seriously still spreading that ignorance?

How about "expensive" subscription service, addon peripherals, and video-games just to play on a single gaming console.

Yea, if you want One X performance on a PC, it will cost significantly more than $400.

Xbox One X is still too slow, it best targets full quality 1080p current console games. One X still uses the exact same CPU as the Xbox 1.

Microsoft "subsidizes" the cost of the console for the initial sale. Then it makes most of revenue through the life of the console via addons, software, subscriptions etc.

Console game prices currently go don’t consistently match as low as a PC counterparts.

You’re already upgrading your system 6-8 years later, before it was around 5-ish years.

Regardless consoles having been becoming more & more PC-like with every console generation. The only main difference is consoles are still locked down by Microsoft & subsidized initial cost.

Physical games are dinosaurs that will soon extinct (finally…). With Cloud-gaming preparing within the next 5 years, the traditional console will soon be obsolete as well. Xbox 1 X and the PS4 Pro already established that trend of "static" consoles per generation as dead.

it best targets full quality 1080p

RDR2 ran at native 4k on my XB1x, something my gaming PC struggles with (but can do with some settings tweaking).

One X still uses the exact same CPU as the Xbox 1.

The CPU specs on the X far exceed the original XB1, as does the GPU.

What’s a "gaming PC?"

Xbox 1 X uses the same cpu design. The game was specifically designed with that CPU in mind, thus the reason why the Xbox 1x uses the same APU overall but with an RX 580-esque hardware using checkerboard scale that Valve showed off years ago.

Console gamers talking PC specs clearly shows your lack of understanding of tech. 1X far exceeds the CPU of the original Xbox1? What pills are you swallowing?

Same design, but with a clock speed boost from 1.75 GHZ to 2.3 GHZ.

I play mainly on my console. Just because I don’t play as much on my PC, with its’ i7, 32GB RAM, and 1080 GTX, doesn’t mean I don’t understand it. a 31% clock speed boost is a pretty huge bump. If I could get a 31% stable overclock on my PC CPU, that would be huge. (Of course, that’s about what I had on my old AMD 64 chip. That thing was a warhorse back in 2005.)

So much plain ignorance.

- The One X is plainly capable of native 4K, both at 30 and 60 FPS depending on the titles.

- Whether it subsidizes hardware or not, it’s simply cheaper than getting a comparable PC.

- If you go 5 years without upgrading a PC, you either spent $1,200+ on it, or your games are playing hella shitty before the upgrade. I’m playing on a One X, and my wife is playing on a One, and the game we’re playing is more than acceptable on both.

- Yea, consoles are more PC-like. So?

- Most of my games are digital on my Xbox. What is your point? If the traditional console is obsolete, the even-more-expensive gaming PC will be even more obsolete.

Were you even replying to me? It feels like you just wanted a chance to go on a terribly aimed and argued rant.

addon peripherals

That’s optional. And games are cheap on Amazon. And you get free games from that subscription too.

You spend money on peripherals and games for both pc and console. Xbox and Playstation have made great advances lately in doing seasonal sales, so the whole "steam sale" argument for cheap games holds little weight. Yes, absolutely, to get into pc gaming requires much more investment. I spent $400 on an xbox one a few years ago, and with four years of xbox live service have spent an additional 240. That’s still less than having put together a budget pc, according to Forbes.

Ignorance? I buy an XBox and I know I’m going to be playing games that are highly optimized for the system. At whatever resolution the publisher decided it could max out the Xbox with. And I get to do that for the next 7 years until the next generation of consoles come.

I buy a maxed out pc and it’s a short 6 months before the next game comes out that I can’t run at max resolution and settings anymore. A year before my PC is midrange and needs an upgrade for the latest game.

One is worry free gaming and the other is keeping up with the joneses

I know which setup I’m going to pick.

I buy a maxed out pc and it’s a short 6 months before the next game comes out that I can’t run at max resolution and settings anymore.

Incorrect. Please define "maxed out".

I’d say if you get a "maxed out" rig today, it’s good for the next 3-4 years, at the least.

highly optimised for the system? have you played any AAA games on the base X1 lately? 30fps + screen tearing + game crashes.

Expensive gaming pc, cheaper games (pays devs cheaper, that’s why devs are moving towards Epic).

ps: Logically, console gaming gives consumers and devs lesser issues.

Sony technically was already in Cloud Gaming since they bought it Gaiki forever ago. It’s what powers their PSNow platform right now. It just seems like they don’t know what they’re doing with it to keep it up to date/expand it beyond what they currently offer on it.

The scale and scope required to put on a successful cloud service is changing, that is why Sony had to deal. They are too far behind in cloud infrastructure, there is no hope of building one, and they will not be able to do self provision successfully in a few years. They were in serious jam with their biggest business line as they saw acceleration of gaming moving to the cloud.

Almost Everyone in the cloud offering a competitive product will need need to get with a hyperscale cloud provider or else you will be road kill due to economics. If you are a company like Sony, or other Fortune 100 type and need to "buy IBM" for your cloud service, you have only 2 choices, Amazon or Microsoft. Google, IBM and others are distant also ran.

So, the Sony CEO confronted the question: Amazon or Microsoft. Pick your poison. I think perhaps Sony prefers a gaming competitor that already exists to helping to create another one. Oligoplistic competitors almost always make that choice. Such a consideration also applies to Google.

Cloud gaming require a lot of global infrastructure and economy of scale to be feasible. And TBH the cost just doesn’t justify the tiny profit(comparatively)
Piggybacking on Azure is definitely the way to go

Win if you win, win if you lose…long on MSFT.

I bought MSFT 5 years back. Never been happier

Yeah, I wish I did too!

I did back in 2015, and still do today. One of the best things ever happened to me.

PlayStation has had a cloud streaming service since before the launch of PS4 in the form of ps now

And yet many years later they are having to rent space from a competitor to stay relevant.

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