Cross-play between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One continues to be a sore subject for both companies, it seems like.
Back in March 2016, Microsoft invited other online platforms to connect to Xbox Live, which allowed cross-platform gaming experiences between the Xbox and rival platforms. That announcement turned heads because it was unprecedented.
Earlier this year at E3, Microsoft announced a partnership that'll allow cross-play on Minecraft between Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch, and other platforms — with Sony the only exception.
Sony has said it won't allow the PlayStation Network to connect to other platforms because of safety reasons.
Microsoft Is Still Talking To Sony About Cross-Play, But To No Avail
Microsoft has since been talking with Sony, trying to soften it up for the company to finally allow cross-play once and for all. But as a new interview with Xbox boss Phil Spencer suggests, things aren't looking great. At the Brazil Game Show Thursday, Oct. 12, Spencer told GameSpot that the company still tries to talk to Sony, but it's not going anywhere, and it may never.
"We talk to Sony all the time. With Minecraft on PlayStation, we have to be one of the biggest games on their platform in terms of sales and gameplay," said Spencer, who praised Nintendo's commitment to partnering with Microsoft, and contrasted it with Sony's.
"They've been great supporters and we continue to collaborate with them," Spencer said in reference to Nintendo. "But I think Sony's view is different. They should talk about what their view is..."
Xbox One And PS4 Cross-Play: Will It Ever Happen?
Is cross-play between PS4 and Xbox One ever going to happen, then? Well, things look murky, and Spencer doesn't want to speak on behalf of Sony. Of course, things could always change, but the current status of their relationship makes Spencer think that Sony might never allow cross-play at all.
He thinks cross-play is important because it allows players to seek out other players from a huge pool, whatever console they might be using. Therefore, this kind of openness keeps multiplayer experiences rich, and they make games more inclusive and communal experiences. Sony has its own reasons for not allowing it of course, but it's definitely not technical.
Cross-play between the two consoles is technically possible — Fortnite accidentally added this feature back in September then quickly removed it — so this seems most certainly a matter of politics, principles, or maintaining exclusivity. Psyonix, the team behind Rocket League, previously said that cross-play is possible in its game, but it's waiting for Microsoft and Sony for permission.
Do you think Sony should relent and allow cross-play between PS4 and Xbox One? If so, which games would benefit most from this? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!