What exactly do they have to gain? Basically, Microsoft will be allowing Sony to use its Azure service, and the two companies will be putting their brains and technology together in an effort to better support their "respective game and content-streaming services". What people shouldn't expect is for Sony and Microsoft exclusives to be appearing on each other's consoles, nor for the two to create one console together. With hosting now handled at Microsoft, there's no reasonable argument for why cross-play multiplayer shouldn't be enabled on all Xbox Next and PS5 games.
This could mean two things: one, removing the disc drives from consoles almost turns them into streaming-boxes. Microsoft will have also considered its position in light of these developments, especially Google's Stadia strategy. Through Azure and its cloud-based tools and services, it intends to aggressively pursue third-party relationships in infrastructure, back end services and service delivery. A lot of the emphasis will seemingly be placed on further developing and implementing Microsoft Azure to prop up PlayStation and Xbox's game- and content-streaming services. While Google, Apple, and others are yet to "kill" traditional gaming consoles, the new Sony-Microsoft deal might help the two gaming giants better compete against whatever future challenges lie ahead. Well, probably not at Amazon, you'd imagine, where CEO Jeff Bezos will moodily be asking his Echo "why don't they want our cloud services?".
Based on Microsoft's long-standing history with software, hardware, and being a gaming platform for nearly 40 years now, there's no doubt that they know what they're doing here.
Fragments from Asobo Studio is a HoloLens AR game.
Sony and Microsoft are rivals in the console space, but they might team up on game streaming.
This part is more vague than the rest, but I have one theory, even if it's a insane one.
What really caught our eye, though, is how Sony president CEO Kenichiro Yoshida talks about the partnership: "PlayStation itself came about through the integration of creativity and technology".
Essentially, Sony and Microsoft are coming together to develop features for the betterment of each of their products, gaming or otherwise, which is exciting. The gaming industry may be dominated by the big three, but it's Microsoft and Sony who have been driving the scene forward for more than two decades now. Wait, Oculus recently went PC-less with its Quest VR headset.
Microsoft and Sony are going exploring. The company has secured two consecutive years of record operating profit but has not seen its share budge much in the year since Yoshida took over.