During its E3 2017 media briefing, Microsoft announced that cross-platform play is coming to Minecraft, one of the biggest games in the world. It means Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC, mobile and VR Minecraft players can all play together.
And today, Nintendo announced Rocket League, another of the world’s biggest games, is coming to Nintendo Switch, and developer Psyonix confirmed cross-platform play between Xbox One, Switch and Steam.
In both cases, PS4 was absent from the list of consoles available for cross-play. So what’s up?
Jim Ryan is the head of Playstation’s global sales and marketing. This is what he said:
Wesley: Minecraft works cross-platform between Switch, Xbox and PC. Today, Rocket League was announced as working cross-platform between Switch, Xbox and PC. Both don’t work cross-platform with PlayStation. Now, is this Sony not playing ball? What is actually going on here?
Jim: 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.
W: Well, you must see that PlayStation owners are upset. They want to play with Switch owners, PC owners and Xbox One owners for these two big and important games, and they don’t have an explanation why. That’s what I’m getting at, really.
J: Yeah. 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.