Owning an Xbox has been pretty tough since a lot of my friends own PlayStations. But, what if the difference in platforms didn't keep us from playing online together? That would be great, right? Well, not in Sony’s eyes.
For some time, Microsoft has been trying to get Sony on board with cross-platform play, but it seems for some reason Sony just doesn't want to. Minecraft just released an update that connects every version of the game, which even Nintendo Switch will be getting sometime this winter. That update means that everyone, no matter the platform, can play with each other... except PS4, obviously. Sony's reason for not joining the party was to (according to an interview between Jim Ryan and Eurogamer) “protect" their
players. Which to me, if Sony genuinely thinks that the community on the PSN is any less toxic than Xbox’s, that's bullshit. Despite that remark, Phil Spencer told GameSpot this past week, that Microsoft has been talking with Sony constantly about cross-platform online, but at this point he feels it's not going to happen.
Well, why the hell not?!
The old argument used to be that the two networks just worked differently and weren't compatible. Bullshit again! Not only has Rocket League’s developer, Psyonix, said in the past that they’re ready and willing, but also just a couple of weeks ago, Epic’s Fortnite had an apparent bug that had PS4 and Xbox players killing each other! This was quickly fixed, but it just goes to show that if given permission, developers could push some buttons and make it happen. Granted, Sony has allowed a few games to connect with PC players...
but, I mean... that’s on PC, who cares.
Of course, the real reason is business. Sony is probably thinking that if we can all play together then those people who haven’t already bought a PS4 will have one less reason to. I, however, would call bullshit on that as well. Sure, if this cross-platform play became a reality, I would stick with my Xbox for multiplayer, but I would still want a PS4 for the crazy amount of exclusives in their library. I don’t think Sony would lose any ground if they let this go ahead. I’m sure games like Destiny and Call of Duty would likely still have console exclusive items so you still keep that incentive to buy the game on that particular platform.
Another thing may be that Sony doesn't want to do is help Microsoft on the PR front. Despite the lack of exclusives, Xbox has been on a roll giving gamers awesome services on their platform. From backwards compatibility, to Game Pass, they have rewarded the diehard fans who have stuck around. And at this point, there have too many stories about Sony being the bad guy in this that if it happens it can only be seen as a victory for Microsoft.
For me, it really all comes down to one thing. That’s that this is a natural evolution for the game industry. It's already technically possible, PlayStation just has to get their shit together and let this happen.