At E3, Microsoft highlighted cross-platform play for Minecraft, enabling players on Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, VR, and mobile to play together. Rocket League is another major game that has cross-platform multiplayer. The catch? Sony hasn’t joined the party, so PS4 players are left to play these games only with other PS4 players.
Both Minecraft and Rocket League have had a degree of cross-platform play for a while now. Minecraft Realms let explorers and tinkerers on different platforms build together, and Rocket League let competitors face off. All the while, Sony‘s PS4 has been isolated.
With the broader cross-platform play coming to Minecraft and the addition of the Nintendo Switch to the cross-play roster for Rocket League, Sony’s absence is becoming that much more glaring. A sales and marketing lead for PlayStation responded to questions about the PS4’s exclusion, explaining that Sony doesn’t rule out the possibility of cross-platform play, but that there are no active discussions in the company about making it happen. Another factor that the company had to consider was the protection of its users in a cross-platform online environment that Sony wouldn’t be able to manage.
This is unfortunate news for Sony fans. Microsoft seems to be moving slowly towards a platform-agnostic model, blurring the line between Xbox and Windows 10. Nintendo joining the cross-platform play is a good sign as well. So Sony not joining for these two games now doesn’t bode well for future PS4 games supporting cross-platform play either, meaning Sony players could find themselves playing only among themselves for a while to come.
Sony’s lack of movement on this issue goes to perpetuate the huge joke South Park made at console-makers’ expense: that deciding which consoles to get really comes down to being able to play with your friends, because in the end the consoles are pretty much the exact same thing. It would be a user-friendly move for Sony to open the doors to cross-platform play, but it seems increasingly unlikely that it will.
Right now, Sony has the bigger user base for current generation consoles. The PlayStation Pro was a decent upgrade from the base model, but the Xbox One X will be even more of a beast and could help Microsoft gains some ground. If Sony allowed cross-platform play, Sony’s huge install base wouldn’t help it sell more consoles with the lure of more people to play with, one of Sony’s solid edges on Microsoft.
Sony‘s PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Slim, and PlayStation 4 Pro consoles are available now.