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Microsoft and Sony may be burying the hatchet ahead of the PS5 and Xbox 2

Microsoft and Sony have announced an unlikely alliance, which could herald the dawn of true cross-platform online gaming across Xbox and PlayStation consoles.

In a press release on Thursday, the two gaming giants announced they’re teaming up to build cloud-based solutions within the Microsoft Azure platform.

The accord, which will support gaming and cloud streaming, will see Sony adopt Microsoft’s cloud-based platform for its current gaming and streaming platforms.

The release states: “Under the memorandum of understanding signed by the parties, the two companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services.

“In addition, the two companies will explore the use of current Microsoft Azure datacenter-based solutions for Sony’s game and content-streaming services. By working together, the companies aim to deliver more enhanced entertainment experiences for their worldwide customers. These efforts will also include building better development platforms for the content creator community.”

Related: Xbox One vs PS4

The obvious conclusion here is that Microsoft and Sony are putting the rivalry aside to enable gamers on either of the major platforms to take each other on online without needing to be on the same system.

Sony has come in for criticism in the last year or so for its reluctance to embrace cross platform multiplayer due to its lead in the PS4 vs Xbox One console war, which is approaching its close with the PS4 well ahead.

However, the accord goes beyond the gaming rivalry. The press release says Microsoft and Sony are exploring “collaboration in the areas of semiconductors and AI.” That’ll involve the potential for joint development of new intelligent image sensor solutions.

The companies say: “For semiconductors, thi