Sony and Microsoft are gearing up to tackle the streaming future, and that means working together on some key cloud technology. But according to PlayStation boss Jim Ryan, that partnership does not mean there will be a future where PlayStation and Xbox will combine into a single platform.
Speaking with Financial Times, Ryan spoke a bit about the "strategic partnership" agreement that Sony and Microsoft signed last month. In it, the two companies agreed to explore potential partnerships that would give Microsoft access to Sony's semiconductor business, while Sony will explore ways to incorporate Microsoft's Azure cloud services, even in sectors like hardware and gaming.
However, Ryan says that this partnership will not lead to some kind of platform merger. "There is to my knowledge... no scenario where the PlayStation and Xbox platforms combine," Ryan said. "The two platforms will remain separate with their own separate identities and brands and fans."
The partnership between Sony and Microsoft was seen as a way for Sony to beef up its PlayStation Now streaming service, which was one of the earliest video game streaming services. PlayStation Now failed to gain traction due to technical difficulties and a lackluster library. Teaming up with Microsoft's Azure cloud tech could bridge the gap between PlayStation Now and Google's upcoming Stadia streaming platform.
With streaming becoming an increasingly popular trend in gaming, Ryan says PlayStation sees a new opportunity with PlayStation Now. "We are getting more confident with the [PlayStation Now] service and we are really going to start to push it hard this year and the year to follow," Ryan revealed.
Ryan says that Sony has solved the technical problems with PlayStation Now, and will "work a little harder on the content proposition[.]" Partnering with Azure would also give Sony access to more data centers to deliver the streaming service.
With streaming such a hot topic in gaming, Sony is doubling down on its existing PlayStation Now service. We can also expect to see streaming services from companies like Google, Xbox, and maybe even Walmart in the future, a sure sign that this is the next big thing in games.