Sony and Microsoft joining forces – an unlikely friendship

Aug 02 2019 5 min read

Sony and Microsoft joining forces – an unlikely friendship ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

A couple of months ago, Sony and Microsoft surprised the gaming community by announcing an unexpected collaboration focused on the joint development of cloud services and AI technologies. Needless to say, the news was shocking. How come two competing companies decided to work together? Let’s take a look at the past and recall the history of the conflict between Sony and Microsoft.

Eternal rivals

Among those two, Sony was the first one to introduce a world-changing gaming console. The original PlayStation was a huge hit, and in case you’ve lived long enough on this planet to actually catch the era of PSONE – then you are absolutely blessed with that. For a true gaming enthusiast, nothing is more precious than watching the industry grow and improve. Microsoft entered the race in the early 2000s with the original Xbox – and it soon became clear, that two companies are destined to be direct competitors. Since those very times, both companies have introduced several new generations on consoles packed with mesmerizing exclusives and overall joyful gaming experience. The previous generation was the last in terms of true competition. Xbox 360 and PS3 offered a rich variety of great video games, and it was a fairly hard decision to choose one console over the other. Sadly, it all changed with the current-gen – from the very beginning, PS4 took the lead over Xbox One because of a series of strange and obscure decisions by Microsoft. The company seemingly gave up on the idea of winning the hearts of gamers with exclusives – and the most vivid example was the cancellation of Scalebound.

The overall picture we’ve drawn clearly shows that Sony and Microsoft are natural competitors in a never-ending rivalry. But perhaps, the time has come for a drastic change.

On top of that, there was a troubled development of Crackdown 3, the simultaneous release of the few remaining exclusives on both Xbox One and PC, etc. Sony, however, heavily invested in developing exclusives – and we now have an impressive line-up of wonderful games for PlayStation 4. With the next Xbox – so-called Scarlett – Microsoft might be trying to fight back what it lost. In recent years, the company has bought a bunch of experienced game-development studios including the authors of Hellblade. On top of that, there’re inXile, Obsidian, Playground, etc. Moreover, Microsoft started attracting talents and veterans from across the industry to join the newly established studio The Initiative. It’s pretty obvious that the company is gathering much-needed development resources to turn the tables during the next generation in terms of offering a variety of exclusives. Or at least to catch up with Sony. Xbox One was a complete failure in regards to exclusive video games, although this issue was somewhat countered by backwards compatibility measures with dozens of Xbox 360 titles becoming available on the current generation. Still, it wasn’t the solution players were hoping for.

Friendship is magic

A few years ago, a photo of two Xbox and PlayStation employees – a girl and a boy – became viral due to its core essence. Nowadays, it’s pretty clear that in 2019, PlayStation and Xbox fans don’t want to be enemies anymore in a world where online experiences have taken the lead on all platforms. We all hope for a united gaming community. Judging by the recently signed deal by Sony and Microsoft, the unlikely friendship might eventually become a thing. The funny bit is that the gaming divisions of both companies were as much surprised by the deal as the general public – simply because it didn’t touch upon any gaming activities. Yet. The current idea behind the collaboration is to join forces in developing and innovating cloud services and AI technologies. For instance, the companies will collaborate while working on the existing Microsoft Azure cloud solution. One of the possible directions here is to lend the services over to Sony for usage in its own projects. In return, the Japanese company will offer its achievements in sensor development for AI. Both CEOs believe that this partnership will not only benefit the two companies – but the whole humanity as well. However, there might be more to that.

Is it possible to see a joint ecosystem of PlayStation and Xbox one day? Never say never.

Both companies act cautiously in order to not make unrealistic promises. Obviously, Microsoft is a bit more optimistic in that regards since conservative Sony tends to keep its employees’ mouths shut at all costs. It was Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella who left somewhat of a tease in regards to the potential outcomes of the historical deal. His recent words hint at a possible further integration, although it is dangerous to make early conclusions. Nadella simply said that Microsoft would satisfy Sony’s needs within the partnership in question whether it is cloud services, AI technologies, or whatever else that might come up. “Whatever else” leaves a huge field for speculation here. The most obvious desire of gamers from across the world is a proper collaboration between Sony and Microsoft in the gaming industry. Will we ever see it in full glory? For now, there’s no proper answer to that question. However, the high interest in cloud streaming from both companies might at least suggest that in the nearest future, cloud projects by Sony and Microsoft might utilize the same solutions, the same servers, and the same computing powers. If that proves to be true, there would be just a little step left to allow the games from the rival companies to enter a unified ecosystem.


We do believe that these dreams are most likely to remain dreams – at least, during the upcoming generation of new consoles. Still, there’s a slight chance we’ll see a proper gaming collaboration by the two giant companies. And who knows – maybe it will indeed happen in the course of the next ten years?


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