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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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Many at Xbox, PlayStation teams "blindsided" by Microsoft and Sony's secretive cloud deal

As Nintendo reportedly preps own Microsoft deal.

Microsoft and Sony bosses stunned the video game industry last week by agreeing to a historic - if vague - deal to collaborate on cloud-based tech for future gaming platforms.

But plenty within each company were also surprised. Bloomberg reported today how many within Sony's own PlayStation division were "blindsided" by the news.

Discussions between the two companies - which celebrated their union with an image of Sony boss Kenichiro Yoshida and Microsoft head honcho Satya Nadella shaking hands - were conducted at a level senior to the PlayStation division, the report continues.

The future of gaming?

Eurogamer understands many at Xbox were similarly unaware of the decision, which was planned at a high level within Microsoft.

Such a union between two big console gaming rivals is naturally surprising - but it speaks to the importance of cloud-computing infrastructure and how the next generation of gaming hardware will demand it. And, of course, the threat of new rivals, Google and Amazon.

Nintendo, meanwhile, is also mulling a Microsoft deal. Tokyo-based analyst David Gibson noted that Nintendo was already considering using Microsoft tech for its own streaming service.

Earlier this year, there were also reports of Nintendo and Microsoft exploring a partnership to integrate Xbox Live functionality into Nintendo Switch somehow. More recently, however, this appears to have been placed onto the back burner while Microsoft rolls out Xbox Live for games on Android and iOS.