Microsoft Says It’s Still Talking To Sony About Cross-Play, But Here’s Why It Won’t Happen
Sony has received criticism in recent months for not allowing cross-platform play between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Between PC and PS4, it's fine, but when it comes to Microsoft's console, doors are suddenly closed.
This could change, however, as Microsoft continues discussions with Sony to make it happen.
At this year's Gamescom, Microsoft marketing head Aaron Greenberg confirmed that the company is presently entering talks with Sony about cross-platform play.
"We do partner with them on Minecraft and of course we would like to enable them to be part of that; one community, to unite gamers," said Greenberg, in reference to the Minecraft Better Together update, which sought to make every version of Minecraft the same across all platforms, even on mobile and the Nintendo Switch. Microsoft is "hopeful that [Sony will] be supportive of it."
Microsoft's Failed Efforts To Convince Sony To Allow Cross-Play
This comes as the latest in the company's many attempts to connect its Xbox Live to Sony's PlayStation Network. Back at E3, Xbox's head of operations, Dave McCarthy, confirmed that discussions with Sony regarding cross-platform had taken place for Better Together. When asked to give more details, he simply laughed, and that alone seemed to confirm such discussions hadn't yielded any positive outcomes.
"Quite frankly, we'd love to have Sony there. We discussed it," said McCarthy. "[M]y hope is that they join the party as well because I think it's an awesome thing to do for gamers."
PlayStation executive Jim Ryan said one reason why Sony doesn't allow cross-platform play between PS4 and Xbox One is because of the safety risks associated. If Sony allowed PSN to connect to a different network, it would have less control over the experience. That could put some of its users, particularly children, at risk, according to Ryan.
Why Sony Is Against Cross-Platform Between PS4 And Xbox One
There could be another reason, though, one Sony might not like to admit. Exact numbers aren't known, but there's a general understanding that there have been more PS4 consoles sold than the Xbox One. Sony is enjoying a huge market share right now, especially with the Wii U failing. The PS4 is the king of consoles of this generation, and there's certainly something to be gained for keeping it that way.
If, for instance, a gamer knows the PS4 supports cross-platform with Xbox One, it wouldn't matter what console they pick. But because Sony does not support it, they'll think twice. Go for the PS4, which supports cross-platform with PC and has a stellar list of exclusives, or the Xbox One?
Sony also argues it's not personal.
"It's certainly not a profound philosophical stance we have against this. We've done it in the past," said Ryan back in June. "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."