Many of us didn’t see it coming when Microsoft and Sony signed a cloud collaboration agreement last week. It turns out Playstation staffers were just as surprised as the rest of us too.
For those of you that missed the memo, the Microsoft and Sony cloud collaboration agreement was announced on the Microsoft website in a recent press release. This document is described as a memorandum of understanding and largely focuses on Microsoft’s Azure platform and the delivery of game content:
the two companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services. In addition, the two companies will explore the use of current Microsoft Azure datacenter-based solutions for Sony’s game and content-streaming services.
While this cloud collaboration also covers additional work into semi-conductor tech and AI development, it is likely to have a huge impact on software and services linked to PlayStations newest PlayStation console. A piece on Bloomberg, however, throws up some interesting questions about Sony’s approach to this agreement. It states that Sony’s negotiations and eventual partnership with Redmond’s tech titan were largely handled by senior execs in Tokyo, blindsiding PlayStation employees outside this circle. Anonymous sources described how
Managers had to calm workers and assure them that plans for the company’s next-generation console weren’t affected, said the people, asking not to be identified discussing private matters.
We do not know how this is going to impact Sony’s own cloud-based PlayStation Now service or even the delivery of game content on its next console. We’re not even sure the Playstation teams know that quite yet, after this report. What we do know is that the full fallout from the cloud collaboration deal hasn’t been seen yet. While it might protect Sony from falling too far behind in the cloud space, it could hand off a critical part of its long term future to a competitor, and cause a potential antitrust investigation.