SONY AND MICROSOFT have taken time out from arguing whose games console is better to team up and make both their games better. It's very much like when opposing troops stopped the fighting to play football during the first world war, only less poignant and with more mentions of Microsoft Azure.
"The two companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services," Microsoft said in a statement announcing the development, adding that "these efforts will also include building better development platforms for the content creator community."
On top of this, the companies will now collaborate on semiconductors and artificial intelligence. Expect to see intelligent image sensors using Azure AI, and the like.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella seemed pleased as punch, praising his long-time rival in the process. "Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation," he said. "Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers."
For his part, Sony CEO and president Kenichiro Yoshida seemed equally chuffed. "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," he said. "I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content.
"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," he added, perhaps going a touch overboard for our tastes. It's a business partnership, not a flipping cure for cancer.
All smiles everywhere then? Well, probably not at Amazon, you'd imagine, where CEO Jeff Bezos will moodily be asking his Echo "why don't they want our cloud services?" To which Alexa will probably play a series of songs about clouds, indirectly answering his question. µ
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