Decision to partner with Microsoft in cloud gaming and AI was all Sony’s, says Microsoft CEO

By Sherif Saed
29 July 2019 12:52 GMT

Sony was the one to seek out Microsoft’s services for use in the war for cloud gaming.

Back in May, Sony surprised everyone by revealing that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with rival Microsoft to collaborate on cloud gaming tech and AI. The news came completely out of left field, surprising even Sony’s own staff.

And, as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has now revealed, it was all Sony’s idea. Nadella told Fortune that Sony simply wanted the best partner in cloud-based solutions and infrastructure.

“It’s a beginning for us,” said Nadella. “First of all, it’s all driven by Sony. They looked at who are all their partners that they can trust. In fact, it turns out, even though we’ve competed, we’ve also partnered.”

According to the veteran CEO, providing the backbone for these services means it’s in Microsoft’s best interest for this partnership to succeed, and for Sony to succeed by extension.

“Basically and fundamentally the fact that we have a business model in the areas that they’re partnering with us, where we’re dependent on their success,” Nadella pointed out when explaining Sony’s choice.

“So we will do the best job for them, whether it’s in cloud or whether it’s in A.I. or what have you, in order to make sure that Sony can succeed with their own IP creation.”

Nadella stressed that Microsoft’s game distribution business (Xbox) is separate from its Azure cloud business, but the two rely on each other’s services when the need arises. He also confirmed that Azure will indeed be used by Sony as part of this agreement.

Interestingly, Nadella made it sound like this partnership could manifest in more ways than just gaming, such as shipping Microsoft software or features on Sony hardware, or serving Sony customers’ software needs in the cloud.

“Overall, if you look at all the parts of [Sony’s] businesses, whether it’s in entertainment, gaming, or the camera businesses, all of these things can use more cloud computing power. But they can also go-to-market with Microsoft in some industrial cases, especially for their things around cameras.”

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