Earlier this month, we reported that Microsoft is in talks with Sony to bring Minecraft Cross-Play to the PlayStation 4. Sony was a high-profile holdout when Microsoft announced the cross-play feature back at E3 2017. However, there does seem to be progress over the last few months.
In a conversation with Game Reactor at the Gamescom conference in Germany, Xbox Marketing Chief Aaron Greenberg said talks with Sony are ongoing:
“We're talking to Sony [about cross 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. So we're talking to them and we're hopeful that they'll be supportive of it”
Cross-Play for Minecraft introduces the ability to play the game across platforms. This means users on mobile, consoles, and PC can interact and play with each other.
Microsoft is one of the first major companies to embrace the cross-platform game idea. Minecraft Cross-Play works on PC, mobile, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.
Sony opts Out
Sony currently leads the console market and supports the regular Minecraft game on PlayStation 4. The company did not commit to Microsoft's Cross-Play feature questioned the integrity of the company's plans, arguing the protection of PS Network customers ware priority.
PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan described the decision a “philosophical” one:
“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.”
Microsoft did not take lightly to the comment and hit back and rubbished Sony's reason as excuse making. Despite saying the idea of sharing games across platform was possible in 2016, Sony appears to be stalling.