Skip to main content

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. 

Editors' Recommendations

Charles Singletary Jr.
I'm a Birmingham, AL raised author, journalist, and gaming enthusiast currently residing in San Antonio, TX. My work has…
You can now play Minesweeper (and more games) in Microsoft Teams
4 screenshots of the games Solitaire, Wordament, Minesweeper, and IceBreakers sit next to each other. Little circles with people's faces are dotted across the image, showing that they are playing the games together.

Microsoft's newest app, Games for Work, is adding a handful of casual games right into Microsoft Teams to allow users to play against each other during meetings. Games available through the app include Solitaire, Minesweeper, Wordament, and IceBreakers -- all games that are noted as being safe for work and ad-free by Microsoft.

Games for Work – Now on Microsoft Teams for Enterprise

Read more
Logitech made its own lightweight handheld built for cloud gaming
The Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld sits on a stack of comics.

Although I can be tough on cloud services that have faults, I actually do enjoy cloud gaming on Google Stadia and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate quite a bit, and I’m excited about the technology’s potential for both players and developers. Currently, most of my cloud gaming takes place on my phone, but Logitech and Tencent Games want me to start playing cloud games on a new device. In October, the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld starts rolling out, and it hopes to become the way to play cloud games.
During a hands-off preview of the device, Logitech certainly delivered on highlighting an Android-powered device with two native cloud gaming apps that players can use to enjoy games with a Wi-Fi connection. At $350, though, it feels like a solution for a niche usage problem that similarly priced devices already solve. I could see myself enjoying this device if I wanted to stream a video game from my bed or a room without my TV and consoles. Unfortunately, it seems outclassed by just the ability to stream games on a midrange-or-better phone, something anyone reading this can likely do already.

What is the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld?
From a technical perspective, the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld contains specs that wouldn’t feel out of place on a mid-range mobile device. It features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G octa-core 2.3GHz CPU, as well as 4GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 64GB of internal storage that people can expand with an SD card. The display is a 7-inch IPS multi-touch screen that displays at a 1080p resolution with a 60Hz refresh rate. Players can listen to audio through its stereo speaker, a 3.5mm stereo audio jack, or a Bluetooth 5.1 connection.
What sets it apart is that Logitech built the controllers into the device, giving it a Nintendo Switch-like look. It has the d-pad, analog joysticks, buttons, bumpers, and triggers expected of a modern controller, plus a Home button to bring players to the home screen and a “G button” that will access more system-specific settings. Players will be able to remap the controls however they wish, though. On top of that, players can expect the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld to have haptics feedback, a gyroscope, a light sensor, and even a built-in stereo microphone with echo canceling and noise suppression support.
These aren’t top-of-the-line specs by any means, but Logitech made this choice because the device is made for gaming natively on the device. It also allowed them to get the device’s weight down to only 463 grams and give it a battery life of around 12 hours (it uses USB-C to charge), which has never been seen on a gaming handheld. Think of the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld as an Android 11 tablet with built-in controllers, uniquely tailored UI, and access to native Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce Now, and Google Play Store apps.

Read more
Cyberpunk 2077’s Phantom Liberty DLC not coming to last-gen consoles
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty's new character.

CD Projekt Red today announced Cyberpunk 2077's expansion via a surprise teaser trailer. The clip shares a few details about the plot, characters, setting, and release date of the upcoming DLC. However, one of the most important details is that it won't be coming to last-gen consoles.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty — Official Teaser

Read more