Sony and Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding on May 16th, 2019. What could this mean for the future for the two companies? Are they intimidating Google? Chief Executive Officer Jim Ryan said, “as of now there is no partnership between Sony and Microsoft only a document has been signed for any strategic partnerships that might be beneficial for both parties”. Future cloud solutions for Microsoft and Sony will be using Azure, Microsoft Cloud Gaming Service infrastructure. Both companies acknowledge both are still competitors as they have always been but, What could this mean for both companies’ future? Negotiations began in 2018 and centered around cloud gaming. Sony has not invested enough money into the cloud gaming service sector for it to be seen as a threat by Google, which has a video streaming service known as YouTube. On the other hand, Microsoft has invested a lot into Azure their cloud service structure which PlayStation Now would benefit from this partnership. Microsoft is way ahead of everyone else as far as the development of that platform. Although, Google's video streaming doesn't have problems. There are about 30 secs of latency which is not good for gaming. Stadia, googles videogame streaming platform, is tweaking the latency but its bitrate of the video produced isn’t impressive at all. We don’t want to be playing 4k highly compressed jpegs, we want true 4k video. Even if Sony runs its streaming service through Azure using the PS5 the money is still getting into Microsoft's pockets as they are the ones in the driver seat. Sony and Microsoft understand the weight of Google coming into the arena with something that competes with their hardware without being hardware so, Microsoft and Sony are taking an offensive strategy with Google. Not to mention Amazon and Google are competing to become the leading platform in cloud services, not just gaming cloud services, but cloud services in general. There is also Nintendo on the other hand which has the switch which is selling similarly to the original Wii that outsold the Xbox 360 and the PS3. But enough of that as Microsoft and Sony aren’t too threatened by hardware sales as the cloud service war is a completely different beast. It shouldn't go unnoticed that Nintendo is gearing up for what's to come with possibly doing the same as Sony and partnering for Microsoft Azure. If these streaming services do not work in a partnership it’ll look similar to a civil war with, Google, acting as a foreign nation to wipe out the remaining opposition while they are too busy fighting amongst themselves. Stadia might come to Chromecast as a download function which doesn’t require new hardware. This poses a problem for people selling gaming hardware. For those that are not fond of Google entering this realm of business, this is why. Look at Google play store, for example, this place is the harbinger of microtransactions and ads which we are sure most of us find annoying and downright greedy business practices. Lots of companies doing the games as a service plan will see Google stadia as a way to sell more ads and microtransactions to fuel the fires of their games. Experts say by 2023 less than 2% of those kinds of games will have those pitfalls in their games but as of this moment the streaming services we have mostly work through subscription service. The problem with streaming services in the US is the fact that large parts of the US have latency issues and lack of solid internet connections in more rural areas. This makes the US one of the countries in running for last place for actual infrastructure and internet speeds which is really strange considering that we are one of the biggest superpowers in the world and leading in top 10 of technological development. A counter to that issue for Google is that it has over 7000 edge node locations possibly removing latency as a problem for their platform. In theory, this threat of streaming services being dominated by Google might be less threatening then most of us might think as the real money in-game streaming services isn’t there yet. The current dominators of the gaming industry might not care so much that they are willing to partner up as gaming via streaming service might be a thing to invest in maybe 10 to 20 years not 5 years. So, take this with a grain of salt as you shouldn't be too alarmed by these moves by these tech giants. This is a small market being investigated by big companies. A lot of what is currently happening with this story can only be speculated as not a lot of big moves have been seen yet. We would recommend following how game streaming services can and will change the future of gaming.
Let us know what you think about Google entering the world of gaming? Let us know in the comments below :)