Sony Partners with Microsoft to Explore Joint Development of Cloud-Based, Azure-Powered Solutions for Gaming & AI

May 16, 2019
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Well, we didn't see this one coming. Sony and Microsoft, two long-time competitors in the gaming market, have just announced to have formed a strategic partnership with the specific purpose of collaborating on new cloud-based solutions via Azure for gaming and AI.

The goal will be to further improve the respective game streaming services (Project xCloud and PlayStation Now) and Sony will also explore the possibility of using Microsoft's Azure technology for its own game and content streaming services. Additionally, Sony and Microsoft have also begun collaborating on semiconductors and AI; in the former field, the companies will try to merge Sony's image sensors with Microsoft's Azure AI technology. With regards to AI, Microsoft will provide access to their advanced AI platform and tools so that they might be added to Sony consumer products in order to provide user-friendly AI experiences to customers.

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Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony, said in a statement:

Sony is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. We collaborate closely with a multitude of content creators that capture the imagination of people around the world, and through our cutting-edge technology, we provide the tools to bring their dreams and vision to reality. PlayStation itself came about through the integration of creativity and technology. 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. Additionally, I hope that in the areas of semiconductors and AI, leveraging each company’s cutting-edge technology in a mutually complementary way will lead to the creation of new value for society.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, added:

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.

That's all the two tech giants divulged today. We're eager to learn more about this strategic partnership, though, and we'll make sure to cover any future developments.

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