Why Sony Knows That They Can’t Beat Stadia

The recent announcement of the Sony-Microsoft partnership left many Google Stadia fans feeling concerned. However, this distress was short lived; it was soon realized that there really is no way that the Xbox-PlayStation deal will work out.

The pair are known as the Big Boys of the gaming and console world, and have been at one another’s throat since Xbox’s release in 2001, with the Playstation having beaten it to the mark with its first edition being available just before Christmas 1994. With the popularity of the Game Boy, too, which first came out in 1989, these iconic and much loved brands were set to dominate the gaming industry in the coming years.

Of course, the battles between these three were tough. In the end, the Game Boy faded away and was replaced by the Nintendo and Nintendo DS Lite—a handheld that many of us will be familiar with and have fond, nostalgic memories of—but after this point, the main competition was between the Xbox and the Playstation. For the (nearly) twenty years following Xbox’s release, in fact, they’ve been locked in a constant cycle of churning out better consoles with all new features before their rival. Indeed, the relationship between Microsoft and Sony has not been one of friendship; these two are enemies, through and through.

Thus, the announcement that they were joining forces came as a great shock to the gaming community, and even those who weren’t previously interested in Stadia have paid attention to this momentum decision. Ironically, it has actually served as quite a good advert for cloud gaming and Google Stadia!

One group of people who you wouldn’t have expected to be surprised, though, were Sony’s own employees. Normally, rumours spread around, even when such discussions are kept on the quiet, but for the developers of the Playstation, this bombshell was as fresh for them as for the rest of us.

Why is this? Potentially, it could be that Sony simply didn’t get around to telling them, or otherwise didn’t have the opportune moment until now—but for a company of Sony’s size, that seems unlikely. More likely, in our opinion, is the thought that Sony’s management was scared to announce this partnership to their employees, potentially because it seems so absurd to think it will even work.

Could it be that Sony was secretly uncertain about the efficacy of the deal that they arranged with Microsoft? Potentially their failure to inform their staff of such a huge decision could be indicative of their uncertainty as to its value? After all, the deal will put Sony and Microsoft on a similar level of resources to Google Stadia—but they will have very few other benefits, and to us, it seems a stretch to think that Sony and Microsoft will be able to cooperate after so many years of being enemies.

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