Last week, Sony and Microsoft surprised the gaming community by announcing a strategic partnership where they will work together on cloud technology. Apparently, no one was more shocked than the PlayStation team, who were blindsided by the deal, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Negotiations between Sony and Microsoft began last year and were handled directly by senior management, which means the PlayStation division largely wasn’t involved, a source told Bloomberg. Staff were reportedly caught off-guard by the news and had to be assured the company’s next-generation console plans aren’t affected.
Microsoft and Sony announced on Thursday they are going to explore joint development of future cloud solutions that will benefit their respective game and content streaming services.They’re also looking into ways to integrate Microsoft Azure data centers with Sony’s streaming services.
The strategic partnership is just the latest example of the three biggest video game publishers starting to play nice after decades of competition. PlayStation’s Shawn Layden recently called for unity among game makers during the DICE Summit in Las Vegas, while Microsoft is currently working on a software development kit that allows developers to integrate the Xbox Live service into titles on multiple platforms, including the Nintendo Switch.
But, Asymmetric Advisors strategist Amir Anvarzadeh has a different take. He told Bloomberg he believes Sony is being forced to collaborate as more and more companies like Microsoft and Google create their own cloud gaming platforms to compete with the PlayStation Now service.
“Sony feels threatened by this trend and the mighty Google, and has decided to leave its network infrastructure build-up to Microsoft,” he said. “Why would they sleep with the enemy unless they feel threatened?”
A Sony spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg that talks with Microsoft began last year, but declined to comment further.