Japanese tech company Sony Corp would not make use of Microsoft Corp’s cloud services for streaming of its games and media according to a new agreement on partnership struck between the two companies. The new strategic agreement also opens up opportunities for the tow companies to work together for development of new image sensors, the two companies said this week.
The companies however said that a number of further details still is needed to be finalized. One of the major points of agreement already taken by the two major consumer interactive entertainment franchises is that there would be greater collaboration in the streaming of games and content to consumers and the offering of new development tools to game makers. Microsoft is the owner of the Xbox platform and while Sony owns the PlayStation.
“For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course the two companies have also been competing in some areas,” Sony Chief Executive Kenichiro Yoshida said in a statement. “I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content.”
The market value of the Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft went past the $1 trillion mark last month driven by its Azure cloud computing business and this agreement with Sony would boost that business. The deal would also help Microsoft to rival the global market leader in cloud services – Amazon.com Inc’s Amazon Web Services.
Following its nearly $1 billion acquisition of Twitch, which is a major platform where gamers go in large numbers to watch other players competing in the e-sports market, and the offering of more tech based tools for game developers, Amazon has also made a foray into the business of gaming.
Among the other major business of Japan’s Sony is the supply of camera chips for smart phones and other devices. This is also included in its deal with Microsoft as the two companies announced that new image sensor chips which would potentially make use of artificial intelligence technology of Microsoft for business customers would also be jointly developed. However none of the two companies specify how the chips would be used.
Practical applications such as the spotting defective items passing through a manufacturing line with a greater degree of accuracy than humanly possible is one of the areas where intelligent cameras are being used currently.
The companies would explore the best possible usage of Microsoft’s AI tools in Sony’s consumer products “to provide highly intuitive and user-friendly AI experiences,” Sony and Microsoft said.
While being highly competitive with better-known rivals such Alphabet Inc’s Google, Microsoft’s technology for tasks such as image recognition and human speech understanding has been focused on business customers and has thereby has left a huge gap in using the technology targeted for the general consumers.
“Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation,” Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella said in a statement.
(Adapted from LiveMint.com)