PlayStation Team Reportedly “Blindsided” by Sony and Microsoft’s Azure Deal

May 20, 2019
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Last week Sony and Microsoft shocked the industry when they announced they were forming a partnership that would see PlayStation make use of Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing services. Was this a sign that the decades-long rivalry between PlayStation and Xbox is thawing? Could we see more collaborations in the future? It’s not impossible, although it’s far from guaranteed. In fact, per a new report from Bloomberg, Sony’s PlayStation team was actually completely blindsided by the new partnership.

The Sony-Microsoft deal has been in the works since last year, but negotiations were strictly handled by Sony senior management in Tokyo, without the involvement of the PlayStation team. When the partnership was announced,  it reportedly set off a wave of panic within the PlayStation team, with managers having to ensure employees this won’t impact the development of Sony’s next console. According to Asymmetric Advisors strategist Amir Anvarzadeh, Sony’s surprise team-up with Microsoft may come from a place of fear…

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Sony feels threatened by this [cloud gaming] trend and the mighty Google, and has decided to leave its network infrastructure build-up to Microsoft. Why would they sleep with the enemy unless they feel threatened?

Many have pegged cloud gaming as the future of the medium, with the upcoming round of physical consoles perhaps being the last, and Microsoft has created a huge advantage for themselves by getting out ahead of competitors like PlayStation with their Azure and xCloud tech. According to rumors, Nintendo will also be using Azure to power their upcoming streaming service. Microsoft is going from being a competitor in a three-way console war to having their hands in every pot. That said, expect Google to make some aggressive moves to combat Microsoft’s planned game-streaming monopoly.

What are your thoughts? What do you think the gaming landscape will look like once streaming really starts to take over?

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