Rivals Microsoft and Sony Strike Pact for Gaming, Cloud Services

May 16, 2019, 8:11 PM UTC
Person's silhouette appears besides Microsoft's logo in office building
A customer stands near the Microsoft Corp. logo during the Microsoft Corp. Xbox One X game console global launch event in New York, U.S., on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. As Microsoft Corp. begins selling a new Xbox console, the focus of its video-game unit is shifting toward software and services. The company plans to increase investment in developing in-house video games. Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mark Kauzlarich—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp., bitter rivals in the game console market, are exploring partnerships in cloud-computing and artificial intelligence, including the use of Microsoft’s Azure for their own video and content-streaming services.

By working together, the two companies aim to provide more enhanced entertainment experiences for their customers worldwide, including building better platforms for content creators, they said in a statement Thursday. The companies also may collaborate on semiconductors, potentially working on new image sensors that would combine Sony’s image sensor technology with Microsoft’s AI tools in Azure.

While the companies have worked together in some parts of their businesses, Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox compete fiercely, particularly for the attention of hard-core gamers. At the same time, as both companies face rivals such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Apple Inc., and Amazon.com Inc., Sony will want cloud horsepower to run its services. The two companies said they will share additional information in the future.

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