Sony has moved to quash rumours the PlayStation and Xbox gaming platforms could be in line for a sensational and highly unlikely merger.
After the firms announced a strategic partnership to build cloud gaming solutions within Microsoft Azure, some rumour-mongers put two-and-two together and ended up with five. While the accord was surprising, considering the long-standing rivalry between the console titans, it hardly prompted those conclusions, and Sony is setting the record straight.
In an interview with the Financial Times this week, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan said he envisioned “no scenario” where PlayStation would hitch its wagon to the Xbox platform, or vise versa.
He said: “There is to my knowledge . . . no scenario where the PlayStation and Xbox platforms combine,” he said. “The two platforms will remain separate with their own separate identities and brands and fans.”
He said the power of the PlayStation brand and Sony’s investment in exclusive original games gives it a competitive advantage over Microsoft, evidenced by the near-100m PS4 consoles sold in this generation.
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Elsewhere, Ryan also said that Google’s entry into the gaming market through the forthcoming Stadia streaming service, will encourage Sony to place more stock in its existing cloud platform PlayStation Now.
He added: “We obviously have seen the trend in other forms of entertainment towards the mass adoption of streaming as a means of accessing content. It would seem likely, very likely, that gaming will follow that trend.”
Ryan said Sony will “work a little harder on the content proposition and we need to look at the overall value proposition. We are getting more confident with the [PlayStation Now] service and we are really going to start to push it hard this year and in years to follow.”
Related: Google Stadia
Microsoft’s XCloud game streaming service, which is expected to be revealed in all its glory at E3 2019, will rival both PlayStation Now and Stadia. Which brings us back to those off-base merger rumours. The original accord made between Sony and Microsoft will support gaming and cloud streaming, and will see Sony adopt Microsoft’s cloud-based platform for its current gaming and streaming platforms.