Rivals Sony and Microsoft team up for cloud-based gaming solutions

Sony and Microsoft bury the hatchet to beat Google on cloud gaming

Xbox PlayStation Microsoft Sony cloud azure game streaming content

Sony and Microsoft are teaming up on cloud-based gaming and A.I. solutions. This new partnership will see Sony bring its gaming and content streaming to Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing platform.

Azure is a cloud-computing service that uses Microsoft’s data center and is available in 140 countries in 54 regions worldwide. This joint effort is aimed at developing future cloud solutions to support both companies’ gaming and content-streaming services. What could this mean for gamers? Sony and Microsoft are likely preparing for whatever Google Stadia plans to bring to the table, and aiming to produce results under the PlayStation and Xbox brands that are more robust and capable than current offerings like PlayStation Now.

Gamers and tech enthusiasts have been keeping their eyes on the horizon, anticipating the next generation of home gaming consoles and whatever bits of information leak out prior to an official rollout. The big curveball with this wait was the announcement of Google Stadia, ta streaming platform poised to take on Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. Stadia aims to allow gamers to access next-gen and current-gen gaming content no matter what type of hardware they have, and to stream high-quality gaming via the internet.

We recently reported that a newly revealed Sony patent seems to be related to a PlayStation-branded competitor to Google Stadia. With this partnership revealed, we’re likely to see even more developments along this line. Does this mean that there will be a single subscription service for both Xbox and PlayStation? Not likely, but not impossible. What’s more likely is that the two will have their own respective services, which will be boosted by collaboration. The two major companies playing nice could even extend into crossplay conversations, but we’ll have to wait and see.

“PlayStation itself came about through the integration of creativity and technology,” Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said in a press release. “Our mission is to seamlessly evolve this platform as one that continues to deliver the best and most immersive entertainment experiences, together with a cloud environment that ensures the best possible experience, anytime, anywhere. 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.”

Xbox vs. PlayStation

Video game streaming of this kind has been attempted in various forms before, but Stadia seems like a plausible attempt at changing the landscape of home console gaming, largely due to Google’s incredible reach and established cloud-computing to power it.

Beyond cloud gaming and content streaming, the partnership also extends to A.I. and semiconductors. Sony will be sharing its cutting-edge image sensors with Microsoft’s Azure A.I. tech and Microsoft, in turn, will be working its advanced A.I. platform and tools into Sony’s consumer products. This is a monumental partnership that should be beneficial to consumers across various entertainment and productivity platforms.

In the wake of this revelation and Sony’s Thursday announcement that it would repurchase up to 4.8% of the total number of stock shares issued — worth approximately $1.82 billion, Sony’s stock skyrocketed 9.89% to levels not seen since December 2018. The buyback period will last from May 17, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

Updated May 17, 2019: Updated to include information about Sony’s stock surge. 

Gaming

The Genesis Mini will make you wonder how Sega lost the console wars

Sega may have lost the console wars to Nintendo, but it has stepped up its game in the new, retro console wars. The Sega Genesis Mini boasts an impressive lineup of games and has authentic, charming hardware design.
Gaming

Ubisoft’s new Uplay+ PC gaming subscription service will work with Google Stadia

Ubisoft revealed a monthly Uplay subscription service dedicated to PC gamers that will include premium editions of games and more. If you don't have the PC to run these games, you'll be able to access the subscription with Google Stadia.
Gaming

Bethesda’s Orion reveal points to an industrywide shift to cloud gaming

Bethesda is getting into the cloud gaming mix but not as competition. Bethesda revealed Orion, a collection of tech patents focused on improving cloud gaming no matter what platform is used.
Gaming

Xbox Project Scarlett launches Holiday 2020 with Halo Infinite

Near the end of the Xbox briefing, Microsoft set the stage for next-gen home console gaming by revealing hardware details for Project Scarlett and a 2020 release window alongside Halo Infinite.
Gaming

Microsoft's Xbox Project Scarlett console is awesome, and it doesn't matter

Microsoft has set a release date for Project Scarlett, its next-generation game console. It promises incredible performance, stunning 8K visuals, and lightning-quick load times -- but none of that matters. The console's relevance is waning.
Deals

Need a smartphone? The Razer Phone 2 gets a huge $300 price cut

Mobile gaming has grown seen incredible growth in recent years. The best gaming smartphones tend to be expensive, though, but the beefy Razer Phone 2 is on sale right now for a huge discount on Amazon that can save you hundreds.
Gaming

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is endearing and wonderfully weird

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is as magically weird as I remembered. The super cute art style fits Koholint Island so well, and Nintendo improved multiple, critical mechanics.
Deals

Walmart drops a big $200 price cut on the Dell XPS 8930 PC

If you're looking for an affordable gaming PC, you'll want to check out this Dell XPS 8930 Gaming Desktop Computer (8th Gen), which is $200 off from Walmart. Normally $1,400, a cool 14% discount brings the price down to $1,200.
Gaming

From Nintendo to Capcom, here are the best booths we saw at E3 2019

Every year, publishers and developers gather in Los Angeles to show off their games at E3. Booths are a major part of the excitement and this year didn't let us down. From Nintendo to Capcom, here are the best booths of E3 2019.
Computing

Don’t call it retro. Atari’s VCS is a modern console for PC gamers

You might think the Atari VCS is another retro console like the Nintendo SNES Classic or Sega Genesis Mini. You'd be wrong. Atari's VCS is actually a modern console that runs PC hardware. Yes, it can play Atari games, but it does much more.
Gaming

Call of Duty: Mobile is the best shooter I’ve played on a smartphone

Call of Duty: Mobile attempts to put the franchise's tight gameplay in the palm of your hand. It's largely successful, thanks to precise controls and attractive graphics. The game arrives on iOS and Android later this year.
Gaming

The PlayStation Network is back up. Here’s the latest on the PSN outage

Sony's PlayStation Network is back online after going down for several hours on Thursday afternoon, annoying legions of gamers right in the middle of E3. Here's the latest on the outage
Cars

Tesla screens may support YouTube with next software update

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today at E3 that the infotainment screens will support YouTube video streaming very soon. This most likely lines up with the latest software update that is expected later this year.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for June 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.