It was a surprise to say the least last week when news broke of a vague agreement between Microsoft and Sony—normally arch rivals in the console gaming space—to team up on “new cloud-based solutions for gaming experiences”.
If you think you were shocked, though, spare a thought for the PlayStation team.
Microsoft said today that it will partner with Sony, its chief rival in the gameing console space, on “new cloud-based solutions for gaming experiences.” It’s unclear what exactly the new collaboration will ultimately lead to, but the move is still a surprising one given that the companies’ Xbox and PlayStation console lines are market competitors.
According to this Bloomberg report on the partnership, which cites “people familiar with the matter”, the early stages of the deal “began last year and were handled directly by Sony’s senior management in Tokyo, largely without the involvement of the PlayStation unit.”
This means that when the collaboration was announced publicly last week, most of Sony’s own console gaming team would have been hearing about it the same time you or I did. Understandably this freaked some folks out, the report claiming that “managers had to calm workers and assure them that plans for the company’s next-generation console weren’t affected”.
None of this is news in so much as it affects either of the programs involved, the PS5 or whatever this cloud gaming idea is, but it’s still interesting to see just how big and unwieldy a massive corporation like Sony can be, when most of its own gaming division isn’t reportedly aware of plans that would directly impact its work.
Unless, of course, not informing them—allowing the partnership to remain a secret while under negotiation—was entirely the point.