Xbox and Switch are allowing for cross-platform online play starting with games like Minecraft and Rocket League, but where is PlayStation? Why isn’t Sony on board?
During Microsoft’s press conference this Sunday, Microsoft showed off some upgrades to Minecraft and revealed cross-platform play with Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch servers. Then, Tuesday, it was revealed that Rocket League would be coming to the Switch and supporting similar cross-play. No mention of Sony was made whatsoever.
Sony seems to have opted themselves out with… a very bad excuse.
“It's certainly not a profound philosophical stance we have against this. We've done it in the past. We're always open to conversations with any developer or publisher who wants to talk about it. Unfortunately it's a commercial discussion between ourselves and other stakeholders, and I'm not going to get into the detail of that on this particular instance. And I can see your eyes rolling,” PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan told Eurogamer.
And when pressed, the reasoning made my eyes roll right out of my face.
“We've got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base. Minecraft - the demographic playing that, you know as well as I do, it's all ages but it's also very young. We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe. Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it's something we have to think about very carefully.”
This is a load of crap. I’m sorry, but it is. I love Sony, but I would have been less upset if they just told us the truth. The truth that probably sounds something like, “We don’t have to because we’ve sold more consoles than both Xbox and Switch and Wii U combined. So suck it,” and then they cross chop their crotch like D-Generation X (it’d probably happen that way).
In the meantime, developers are ready for this to happen. Psyonix’s Jeremy Dunham (Rocket League Devs) are ready. The work for it to be a possibility is done, and as he told Polygon, “It’s literally something we could do with a push of a button, metaphorically. In reality it’s a web page with a checkbox on it. All we have to do is check that box and it would be up and running in less than an hour all over the world. That’s all we need to do.”
It seems that Sony may not play ball for quite some time though, but at least we are beginning to see some progress with the other platforms. I can’t wait to see more titles follow this example, and maybe eventually see a united online-play ecosystem.
One can dream, right?