Published: Mon, May 20, 2019
Tech | By Constance Martin

Sony employees caught off guard by Microsoft cloud partnership

Sony and Microsoft have signed a partnership to jointly develop cloud and AI services, apparently in an effort to counter Google's recently announced Stadia game-streaming platform.

Sony has already spun its 2012 purchase of streaming gaming company Gaikai into over 700,000 subscribers for its cloud-based PlayStation Now service, which launched in 2015.

If you think you were shocked, though, spare a thought for the PlayStation team. Sources close to the matter reportedly told Bloomberg that Sony's PlayStation division was in the dark about the partnership as well.

It seems like the PlayStation unit wasn't aware of the plans at all.

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Many analysts agree that it is a positive forward-thinking approach for Sony, as cloud gaming isn't ready for global rollout yet but prepares the company for if/when consoles become obsolete. Asymmetric Advisors strategist Amir Anvarzadeh said, "Sony feels threatened by this trend and the mighty Google, and has made a decision to leave its network infrastructure build-up to Microsoft". For the record, Sony's gaming division is also responsible for bringing in more than a third of the brand's total income, which is why many feel that they should've been consulted first.

Sony CEO and President Kenichiro Yoshida's statement following the announcement of the collaboration certainly indicates that the adjust to change is indeed underway. Both the companies are teaming up to work on cloud products for their respective game and content-streaming services. More will be revealed as the year rolls along. "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".

This sounds like a throwback to the bad old days of Sony when the various departments barely talked to each other, one of the factors that caused Sony to undergo a massive, and very successful, restructuring over of the past few years.

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