No folks, we aren't joking - master Yoda and Darth Vader have indeed joined forces in a strategic partnership that aims to establish collaboration in the development of cloud-based technologies to support their game and streaming services.
Sony and Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding, according to which "the two companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services."
Additionally, the two will explore the use of 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", they wrote.
Microsoft and Sony's cooperation will also extend to the semiconductor and AI technology, with the former dealing specifically with the development of new intelligent image sensor solutions.
As far as their AI work goes, the two will explore the incorporation of Microsoft AI platform and tools in Sony's products, so as to provide intuitive and user-friendly AI experiences.
Sony's CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said, "For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course, the two companies have also been competing in some areas. I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content".
Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella said, "Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation".
Both companies expressed hope that their cooperation, as well bringing the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony, will create new value for customers and the society at large, with more info coming at a later date.
Ultimately, it's pretty clear that Google's arrival has alerted Microsoft and Sony, and they're shifting into overdrive before Google delivers on their promises and the expectations of developers waiting to see the extent of the company's commitment to Stadia.
You can find the official statement here.