Last week came as a huge surprise to anyone involved in the gaming industry as the two leading beasts announced that they will be teaming up in order to create efficient solutions in online gaming and content streaming. The excited reaction to this strategy comes despite the fact that Sony and Microsoft had been reported to be in negotiations since 2018 and Sony’s open willingness to work with their rival.
The announcement came as a surprise to PlayStation’s own team that had not been informed by their executives of the plans. The competition with these two has existed for years when it comes to sales and trying to prove who is the most creative when it comes to building the ultimate gaming experience.
But despite the need for cloud solutions, the move by the two seems to be a strategy against a young rival, Google, that has recently unveiled their own Stadia cloud streaming service and the popular YouTube platform that has already been offering easy and efficient service when it comes to online gameplay.
With a seemingly rickety dominance when it comes to streaming services through PlayStation Now, Sony may also be in dire need for this team up that promises a significant development when it comes to this as they have heavily depended on their game sales and lacked a focus to bring updates to their cloud gaming platform.
This weakness is one that exposes them against companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft whose superpower is a well enough experience and huge server capacity for handling cloud gaming. The only Achilles heel which is latency is something the three have clearly been investing in and working on by bringing their servers closer to players in cities across the globe.
But with Sony being the only ones not committed to this, they will be seeking for every assistance possible from their partnership with Microsoft and not just through simple hosting deals. Microsoft has reported that the two will “explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services.”
This means that instead of developing individual cloud streaming services for both Azure and PlayStation Now, the two could adopt uniform key server equipment so that developers can easily create terms for both services.
For now, however, their streaming services are supported on hardware that powers their own consoles like the Xbox One S in data centres thus offering huge libraries from their streaming platforms. This means that developers from both companies don’t have to do anything to ensure the games run on the servers. But this may bring up capacity issues over time making it difficult for them to run efficiently in future. The similarity in the companies’ hardware can already be seen by the current trend when it comes to their consoles’ builds especially Xbox One and PS4. This is also expected to be seen with the awaited PS5.
There are also speculations about Nintendo being part of this upcoming rivalry in cloud gaming, reporting that Microsoft has been making some ties recently with the former. It would seem reasonable that no gaming company would want miss out on cloud gaming trend that is said to be the future of gaming and with a growing number of online gamers, having the right infrastructure is key in making this as much of a success as possible.