Gaming rivals Microsoft and Sony strike a truce as they announce partnership – Science News

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Rivals Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox are joining forces to bring a better gaming experience to customers.

The two tech giants have battled for the top spot in video game consoles for many years and often trying to out-do their competition with exclusive offers and games. 

They have announced the signing of ‘memorandum of understanding’ which could to see Sony use Microsoft’s Azure cloud service.

 

Microsoft is testing a streaming service for its Xbox – Project xCloud – which will allow users to play across different devices including phones and tablets.

Sony already has its PlayStation Now service, which allows players to stream games to their PlayStation 4 console or PC.   

In the latest move, the former rivals will share Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform to support game and digital content streaming services.

Streaming games from the cloud brings the potential to access massive amounts of computing power in data centres.

For gamers, that could translate into bigger and better matches, even involving thousands of players.

They will also collaborate on semiconductors and artificial intelligence, which could combine Sony sensors and chips with Microsoft’s cloud systems and AI.

Sony chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida said: ‘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.’

He added that Sony’s mission is to evolve the PlayStation platform into one that uses cloud to provide players top-quality entertainment experiences any time, at any place.

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said in the statement that the tie-up ‘brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers.’  

The two companies have been fierce rivals in the games industry since the launch of the first Xbox console in 2001 as a direct competitor to Sony’s PlayStation.

The partnership comes as Google works to disrupt the video game world with a Stadia platform that will let players stream blockbuster titles to any device they wish.

Google’s Stadia platform will open to gamers later this year in the United States, Canada, Britain and other parts of Europe.

The focused on working with game makers to tailor titles for play on Stadia, saying it has already provided the technology to more than 100 game developers.

The Stadia tech platform aims to connect people for interactive play on PCs, tablets, smartphones and other devices.

Google’s hope is that Stadia could become for games what Netflix or Spotify are to television or music, by making console-quality play widely available. 

The Microsoft-Sony deal did not reveal any specific plans or services to counter the Google Stadia offering.

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