Last week we reported on the “strategic partnership” deal between Sony and Microsoft, focusing on cloud gaming and AI technology. Now, according to a Bloomberg report, it emerges that the PlayStation division was just as surprised as outsiders upon learning about the deal, especially as the division has spent seven years developing its own cloud gaming service, PlayStation Now, though not with much success.
The report says the negotiations toward the deal were handled directly by Sony’s senior upper management in Tokyo, mostly without any involvement from the PlayStation division. The employees were so surprised and caught off-guard by the news that managers had to calm them and assure them that all plans for the next-generation PlayStation console were not affected by the deal. These employees are undisclosed sources who asked not to be identified by Bloomberg.
The report also discusses the fact that both Sony and Microsoft will face fierce competition as Google and Amazon are building their own cloud gaming services. As Asymmetric Advisors strategist Amir Anvarzadeh put it, “Why would [Sony] sleep with the enemy unless they feel threatened?” The move to go over the PlayStation division shows that the company is probably thinking beyond the realm of gaming, as streaming and cloud technology begins to permeate every aspect of the digital media industry.
David Cole, founder and chief executive officer of DFC Intelligence, identified Sony’s PlayStation Now cloud gaming service as “a very limited service.” Even the PlayStation Network, which enables multiplayer for PlayStation 4, is hosted by Amazon Web Services. As such, there will be plenty of personnel and staff changes as Sony reorganize the PlayStation division from top to bottom to suit the new partnership with Microsoft. There are many other factors to consider, which the Bloomberg report details thoroughly.
This isn’t the first time that parts of Sony have gone over PlayStation’s head either, as we just reported yesterday that Sony Music Entertainment’s Unties publishing label will be announcing games at E3 2019 next month, though Sony confirmed last year in November that they will miss E3 2019 for the first time since the event was first hosted.
What do you think of these internal issues with the Microsoft partnership? Is it just a matter of adaptation for PlayStation employees, or is the partnership going to change Sony radically? Let us know in the comments below!