Microsoft struck an agreement with long-time gaming rival Sony to collaborate on developing cloud-based services for the segment and AI solutions, as the companies face up to competition from technology giants Google and Amazon.

In a statement, Microsoft said the pair will partner on new innovations to develop solutions in Microsoft Azure’s cloud service, which will support their respective game and content-streaming plays.

Sony is also considering using Microsoft Azure data centre-based solutions to stream its gaming content.

The partnership will extend to a possible collaboration on Sony’s semiconductors and Microsoft’s AI solution, with a view to jointly develop new intelligent image sensor solutions. This will look to tap into the market for enterprise customers, and in AI the parties “will explore” incorporating Microsoft’s AI platform and tools in Sony’s consumer products to provide user-friendly “AI experiences”.

Gaming competition
The partnership between Microsoft and Sony, which have long-competed in the gaming console market with their respective systems Xbox and PlayStation, comes as online players begin to tap into the gaming market.

In March, Google made its splash in the segment after introducing internet service Stadia, which allows people to play high-end games through streaming without using a hardware console.

Amazon also owns video game development studios, and allows access for developers to create games on its Amazon Web Services platform.

Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony (pictured, left) noted the competition in some areas with Microsoft in the past, while stating the collaboration “will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content”.

Microsoft counterpart Satya Nadella (pictured, right) added: “Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers.”