Cats and dogs. Batman and the Joker. Xbox and PlayStation. Some rivalries seem too insurmountable to overcome, but that last one might be easing up a bit as Sony and Microsoft have announced a new partnership to improve “customer experiences in their direct-to-consumer entertainment platforms and AI solutions.”
In more concrete terms, the companies will jointly explore cloud development through Microsoft’s Azure technology to improve streaming services for games and other content. Sony already runs a cloud-based game streaming service with PlayStation Now, and Microsoft has been talking up its own streaming efforts in a big way over the past year.
According to the press release, “the two companies will explore the use of current Microsoft Azure datacenter-based solutions for Sony’s game and content-streaming services. By working together, the companies aim to deliver more enhanced entertainment experiences for their worldwide customers.” Additionally, the companies plan to collaborate on AI and semiconductor technologies.
Following the announcement, Xbox chief Phil Spencer tweeted that he’s “excited about the opportunities ahead with Sony for us to pursue our mutual gaming ambitions and delight players around the world.”
This isn’t quite the dramatic end to the console wars that forum dwellers have spent years anticipating, but it does indicate that the companies behind Xbox and PlayStation feel like they can work better together. Just don’t expect to see an Xstation or PlayBox anytime soon.
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Google Stadia is set to launch later this year, and every major player in the game industry is looking to get cloud gaming right. We’re going to see plenty more varied takes on the technology hit the market very soon.
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