In a surprise announcement, Microsoft announced today that the company is collaborating on streaming games with its rival for video games, Sony.

"Sony and Microsoft will review the joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective gaming and content streaming services," the announcement from Microsoft said. "In addition, the two companies will explore the use of current Microsoft Azure data center-based solutions for Sony's gaming and content streaming services. By working together, companies want to provide their global customers with an even better entertainment experience. These efforts also include building better development platforms for the Content Creator community. "

Goodness, my goodness. What an interesting twist. Sony, the current leader in video games, lacks the global cloud computing infrastructure needed for the future generation of cloud-based game streaming services. But Microsoft, a company that also offers video games today, has this infrastructure. I've always thought that the software giant would work with smaller players – maybe Nintendo – as well as with individual game makers.

Less interesting, Sony and Microsoft will work together on AI.

"With the hybrid integration of Sony's advanced image sensors into Microsoft's Azure AI technology across Cloud and Edge, as well as solutions using Sony's semiconductor and Microsoft cloud technologies, companies want to provide enhanced functionality for enterprise customers," It says in the announcement goes on. "In terms of AI, the parties will explore the integration of Microsoft's advanced AI platform and tools into Sony consumer products for a highly intuitive and easy-to-use AI experience."

"Our mission is to seamlessly develop PlayStation as a platform that continues to provide the best and most engaging entertainment experiences, along with a cloud environment that guarantees the best possible experience anytime, anywhere," said Kenichiro Yoshida, President and CEO from Sony. "Microsoft has been an important business partner for us for many years, although the two companies are of course also competing in some areas. I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will significantly contribute to the evolution of interactive content. In addition, I hope that in the semiconductor and AI sectors, the mutual use of each company's advanced technology will create new value for society. "

"Sony has always been a leader in entertainment and technology, and today's collaboration builds on this innovation story," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to bring new gaming and entertainment experiences to customers."

I need some time to digest this. But that's big news.

Tagged with Playstation, Sony, Xbox