At this year's E3, Dave McCarthy, general manager at Microsoft game studios, discussed cross-platform play between competing consoles, explaining why Xbox Live to PlayStation Network cross-play might not happen anytime soon.
Microsoft Leaves Out PS4 In 'Minecraft' Cross-Play Plans
Just recently, Microsoft announced plans to unify almost all Minecraft versions and create a single, consistent experience regardless of which platform players choose to play the game with. That means any player who enjoys Minecraft on a phone can continue that experience on to the Nintendo Switch and elsewhere. But Microsoft left out Sony in its unification plans for some reason.
Speaking to GameSpot, McCarty said he hopes Sony will respond to Microsoft's invitation to connect its PSN to Xbox Live. This might be the reason why Microsoft left out the PS4 version of Minecraft in its Minecraft plans because those plans largely involve extensive cross-play support.
Microsoft And Nintendo Partnership
McCarthy said that Microsoft is still holding conversations with Sony, but to no avail thus far. By contrast, it's finding more success collaborating with Nintendo, surprisingly, as Nintendo has largely been wont to ward off third parties, especially Microsoft, one of its chief competitors. McCarthy noted that Nintendo has been a "great partner" in the cross-play department.
"Nintendo's been a great partner; we respect them on a lot of levels, and it's great to support the Switch early on," said McCarthy. But Microsoft still wants Sony involved. "We discussed it. They're not quite there yet [laughs] on support for that."
As to why Microsoft's discussions with Sony haven't resulted in anything definitive so far, McCarty said that such a question would be better directed at Sony, implying that Sony might be not too enthusiastic over Microsoft's cross-play endeavors.
Jez Corden of Windows Central claimed via Twitter that Microsoft actually wants to unify all versions of Minecraft, but according to his other sources, Sony refused to be part of Microsoft's plans. Again, Sony's apprehension can't be explained at this time.
That said, though the PS4 version of Minecraft won't support cross-play anytime soon, Minecraft communications manager Aubrey Norris did confirm that it'll still receive the Super Duper Graphics Pack that'll drastically improve Minecraft's visual package.
Sony Doesn't Like Cross-Platform Play, Sorry
Allegedly refusing to agree on Microsoft's cross-play plans makes it seem Sony is nowhere near changing its mindset on cross-platform support, especially considering that Sony had done the same in the past, refusing to go with Microsoft's plans to support cross-play for Rocket League
To be fair, when Microsoft said it was open to connecting Xbox Live to other gaming networks, Sony later suggested that it too was open to the same idea. But cross-platform between Xbox Live and PSN hasn't happened yet, and it's still uncertain if it'll happen at all.
Do you think Sony should finally relent to Microsoft's request and support cross-play between Xbox Live and PSN? What would be inherent advantages and disadvantages of this kind of setup? If you have any thoughts, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!