A lot of people are hoping for Microsoft and Sony to finally shake hands and call for a joining of arms, though the likeliness of that happening is bar none. However, Microsoft marketing manager Aaron Greenberg has recently told GameReactor, whilst at Gamescom 2017, that Microsoft and Sony were “Absolutely” in talks about future cross-play. He says that both companies want everyone to be part of a larger community, in order to unite everyone.
“Absolutely, yeah. 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.”
This is good news. It means that Sony and Microsoft have been considering butting heads in an attempt to bring the console-warring community together in order to play together and unite as gamers. There are a long list of games which people are hoping will be made cross compatible, Minecraft being one of them as well as Rocket League. Xbox’s Dave McCarthy went on to confirm that discussions with Sony about cross-play did take place. However, when he was asked for more details, he laughed and claimed that Sony wasn’t ready to support the feature, suggesting conversations between the two companies involving cross-play have not gotten very far.
“Quite frankly, we’d love to have Sony there. We discussed it,” he said during the interview. “They’re not quite there yet [laughs] on support for that. But my hope is that they join the party as well because I think it’s an awesome thing to do for gamers.”
One of the reasons Sony is supposedly against having a cross-platform experience for Xbox Live and PSN users, is that it means that Sony doesn’t have full control of its users whilst they’re online. This was most apparent back when mods were finally released for the PS4 edition of Fallout 4, only for Sony to slap down their authoritative palm and announce that only mods that didn’t add any new assets to the game were allowed. It seems obvious that Sony doesn’t like loosening the reins on its communities online experience. They may be doing this to protect the children who use these online services, but it does affect the overall console gaming community – children are the largest group of gamers who play on the voxel building and survival game Minecraft.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer had this to say:
“I would love for players on all platforms to stay connected,” Spencer said. “The fact that somebody would make an assertion that somehow we’re not keeping Minecraft players safe … I found, not only from a Microsoft perspective but an industry perspective, I don’t know why that has to become the dialogue. That doesn’t seem healthy for anyone. We can always do better with anything we do. I find the whole discussion around safety with our game and that somehow we wouldn’t take that as a top priority … and frankly, through our parental controls on Xbox Live and everything else that we’ve done, shown that that’s incredible important to us as a platform.”
So really, it’s all up in the air about whether or not PS4 and Xbox One will be able to come together and play some of the most popular games with one another. Though, the gaming community is a large voice, and if enough people come together and tell these companies that they want to be able to play games together, then hopefully Microsoft and Sony will listen.