On May 16, longtime rivals Sony and Microsoft announced they’ll be working together to develop new gaming technology. The two games titans are collaborating to create new cloud-based streaming solutions, artificial intelligence (AI) programs, and hardware components.
Sadly, the press release announcing the collaboration didn’t mention any content crossovers. So, a Kratos/JD Fenix team up is unlikely.
Developers of the PlayStation and Xbox consoles, Sony and Microsoft have competed for gaming space market share since 2001. However, the pair of tech firms now have a common enemy in the form of Google’s Stadia. In March, the Alphabet-subsidiary revealed it would be launching a streaming video game platform later this year.
To address the new threat, Microsoft and Sony are pooling resources to optimize their next generation hardware and services.
The new corporate partners will host their streaming content on Mircosoft’s Azure cloud platform. Through Azure, the American tech conglomerate offers more than 600 different enterprise hosting data services. In the joint effort, the two companies can better compete with the Stadia’s features like sharing game instances and one-touch live streaming playthroughs.
Microsoft and Sony said their collaboration would blend the former’s AI tech with the latter’s image sensor hardware. In February, Microsoft boasted its HoloLens 2 augmented reality (AR) kit would offer users immersive, low latency 3D gaming experiences. As Sony’s image sensors provide super high resolution, 360-degree visuals, the software maker might be able to deliver on its lofty promises.
Conversely, with Microsoft’s server infrastructure, Sony might be able to bring its stunning AR hologram tech to the PlayStation 5. If the PS5 version of “God of War” puts players in a photorealistic version of ancient Norway, the Japanese tech firm won’t have any problems selling its new hardware.
Microsoft and Sony’s E3 Plans
Microsoft and Sony framed their new partnership as a development deal. As such, it’s unlikely to impact their Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2019 plans. Still, the two companies’ conference announcements will likely excite consul gamers.
Following Google’s Stadia announcement, Microsoft’s head of gaming, Phil Spencer, promised the company would “go big” at E3.
The firm showcased its xCloud streaming games service in March. So, its expo presentation will probably include launch details. The xCloud demonstration involved streaming Xbox One title “Forza Horizon 4” on an Android mobile device. It’s also been reported Microsoft will unveil the latest installments in the “Gears of War” and “Halo” franchises at the event.
Last November, Sony announced it would be skipping E3 2019 because the iconic confab has lost its cultural cache. In reality, the firm probably decided to forgo the event because the PS5 launch isn’t until 2020.
The electronics manufacturer’s decision makes a lot of sense, even if it disappoints some E3 attendees. Without making a game-changing announcement, the corporation would just be overshadowed by its rivals.
Still, that doesn’t mean Sony might not make a significant announcement while the convention is going on.
The conglomerate could attract a lot of media attention and fan interest by revealing gameplay footage and release dates for hotly-anticipated titles like “The Last of Us 2” or “Death Stranding.”