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Microsoft: Cloud partnership "all driven by Sony"

The deal means Microsoft is "dependent" on Sony's success, according to CEO Satya Nadella

The cloud partnership between Microsoft and Sony was "all driven by Sony," according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Speaking to Fortune, Nadella explained the origins of the partnership with Sony, which the two companies formed in May.

"First of all, it's all driven by Sony," he said. "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.

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

The partnership will influence Sony's games business, but Nadella also highlighted silicon chips and cameras as areas that "can use more cloud computing power."

Historically, Sony and Microsoft have been rivals in the games market, but their partnership reflects a broad shift away from physical products and towards digital services.

In a recent article, Rob Fahey speculated that these changes could signal the end of direct competition between Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo -- generally known as "the console war."

"We could easily find ourselves in a world, not too far down the line, where platform holders find themselves more interested in the complementary parts of their ecosystems than in the competitive aspects," Fahey said.

"Weirder things have happened -- think of how the level of cooperation between Microsoft and Apple nowadays would have sounded to us back in the mid-90s. Even after the dramatic "rescue" of Apple by Microsoft in 1997, the extent to which Microsoft treats macOS and iOS as top-tier platforms today would have been unimaginable.

"Is a similar détente between some or all of Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft so hard to visualise?"

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.

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