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Sony launches AI division with ‘gaming’ focus, ahead of PS5 launch

Sony has launched an AI division with a focus on developing new tech for “gaming, music and entertainment”, less than a year ahead of the arrival of its hotly anticipated PS5 console.

Sony announced the division’s launch in a press release on Tuesday, heralding it as a key step in its ongoing bid to “fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology.”

What’s more likely is that Sony wants to modernise and compete with AI powerhouses like Microsoft and Google in the world of entertainment and gaming. Both Microsoft and Google currently have much more advanced AI and cloud computing capabilities than Sony.

This is why the two have been able to offer more advanced gaming services, like the newly launched Google Stadia and prototype Microsoft Project xCloud.

The exact projects the team will initially work on is currently unknown. The only detail Sony’s offered is that they will initially relate to “the areas of gaming, imaging and sensing, and gastronomy”.

The team will reportedly work out of two offices, one in Japan, the other in America. Hiroaki Kitano, President and CEO, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, will lead the research globally. Peter Stone, Centennial Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin, will lead the team’s US research efforts.

The news comes less than a year before the expected arrival of Sony’s next generation PS5 (PlayStation 5) games console. Details about the console are currently limited, outside of the fact it will have an SSD and use AMD, ray-tracing ready, graphics.

Related: PS5 vs Xbox 2

The console is forecast to launch in the “holiday season” of 2020. Sony’s expected to reveal more details about the PS5 around the same time as the E3 trades how in LA next year.

The release window puts it in direct competition with the Xbox 2 (Project Scarlett). Microsoft unveiled its Xbox Scarlett next generation console at E3 this year. Details about the next Xbox are equally scarce outside of the fact it will also have SSD storage and an AMD, ray tracing ready CPU.