It seems the public wasn’t alone in being blindsided by news that Sony and Microsoft are teaming up for cloud gaming technology. Sources close to the matter reportedly told Bloomberg that Sony’s PlayStation division was in the dark about the partnership as well.
When the two hardware giants began negotiating in 2018, the Japanese company’s senior management out of Tokyo led the charge. Apparently, news of the partnership hit staff at the PlayStation division hard. According to Bloomberg’s sources, higher-ups had to “calm” those worried about whether the deal could potentially spell doom for PlayStation’s next-gen plans.
The speed at which cloud gaming has taken off in recent years appears to have caught Sony off guard. Its purchase of Gaikai Inc. in 2012, whose technology was used to develop PlayStation Now, hasn’t quite helped Sony keep up with the times. Other companies are already miles ahead when it comes to developing cloud-based technology.
As many may have guessed, the success of Microsoft’s cloud service ensures it a spot among other leading companies in this space, such as Amazon and Google. Asymmetric Advisors strategist Amir Anvarzadeh said, “Sony feels threatened by this 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?” Another analyst, Ryosuke Katsura from Nikko Securities Inc., believed this a smart move on Sony’s part, one that suggested “management is adapting rapidly to change.”
Sony CEO and President Kenichiro Yoshida’s statement following the announcement of the collaboration certainly indicates that the adjust to change is indeed underway. In his statement, Yoshida noted the following:
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.
Hopefully, more details about the Sony and Microsoft collaboration will begin rolling out soon.