Sony’s announcement that it was to work with Microsoft on streaming services caught everyone by surprise, including the staff at PlayStation if a Bloomberg report is accurate. Apparently Sony’s senior management began talks last year but they rarely involved anyone from the PlayStation business, which seems very odd as PlayStation is the main benefactor from the deal.
According to Bloomberg the first time that many of the PlayStation staff heard about the deal was when it was public announced. “Staff at the gaming division were caught off-guard by the news,” they report, “Managers had to calm workers and assure them that plans for the company’s next-generation console weren’t affected, said the people, asking not to be identified discussing private matters.”
This sounds like a throwback to the bad old days of Sony when the various departments barely talked to each other, one of the factors that caused Sony to undergo a massive, and very successful, restructuring over of the past few years.
It is said that Sony first approached Amazon but couldn’t agree on a deal, and that Amazon themselves are launching a streaming service in the future. “Sony feels threatened by this trend and the mighty Google, and has decided to leave its network infrastructure build-up to Microsoft,” adds Asymmetric Advisors strategist Amir Anvarzadeh. “Why would they sleep with the enemy unless they feel threatened?”
Reports suggest that Nintendo are also in talks with Microsoft in regards to streaming platforms, analysts suggest that with Sony on board Azure will become he industry standard for cloud deployment, a position that will only be strengthened if Nintendo join up.
However, a good streaming service is nothing if you don’t have any games, “Exclusive content remains key,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, IHS Markit’s head of games research. The threat of Google has lead to two of the industries biggest rivals to team up on a hardware level, could that expand to software as well?