The video game industry has changed drastically over the past few decades. Aside from the leaps in technology, there have been major changes to the culture surrounding the industry. The infamous “console wars” of the 1990s aren’t what they used to be. Nintendo and Microsoft have been growing more chummy with each passing day, but Sony has largely kept their distance. That just changed in a big way. Once bitter competitors, the two now plan to work together.
Sony and Microsoft announced today that they are putting aside their differences to form a “strategic partnership.” An image of Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shaking hands accompanied the news. It’s a powerful image that shows just how far the industry has come, and just how much it has grown.
The two companies are partnering on multiple ventures. First, they’ll be working together on cloud technology. This will enhance streaming services like PlayStation Now, Xbox Game Pass, and Project xCloud. Additionally, they plan to work together on semiconductors and artificial intelligence. By combining their tech, they believe they can achieve more together than alone. Here’s what Yoshida had to say about the partnership:
Competitors team up
Sony is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. We collaborate closely with a multitude of content creators that capture the imagination of people around the world, and through our cutting-edge technology, we provide the tools to bring their dreams and vision to reality.
PlayStation itself came about through the integration of creativity and technology. Our mission is to seamlessly evolve this platform as one that continues to deliver the best and most immersive entertainment experiences, together with a cloud environment that ensures the best possible experience, anytime, anywhere.
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. I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content. Additionally, I hope that in the areas of semiconductors and AI, leveraging each company’s cutting-edge technology in a mutually complementary way will lead to the creation of new value for society.
This is a historic team-up, and only time will tell how greatly it impacts the video game market. Both companies still plan to launch competing hardware for the next generation, but they’ll be working together on the side.
So what does this mean for Nintendo? There’s no need for panic. Nintendo is already partnering with Xbox to bring games and services to Switch. They’re not being left out in the cold here. We’ve even heard reports that Microsoft plans to bring Game Pass and xCloud to Switch. If that proves to be true, this could actually benefit Nintendo. Plus, Nintendo has always stood apart with their unique content. Sure, Sony and Microsoft are competitors, but they’re often offering something totally different than the other two.