#E32017 has been nothing short of quite interesting with news coming from Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One X. They've worked on new avenues that the console would open up including #backwardscompatibility, 4K gaming, and a very interesting topic: Cross-Platform Play. A topic that they have opened up about before with similar statements regarding the Xbox One family.
This topic is one that both gamers and the industry both are seeming to prepare for as Nintendo has said they are open to the idea. This very well means game such as #RocketLeague and even #Minecraft are heading to cross platform with the #NintendoSwitch, PC, and MAC. The one missing out of this entire equation? Sony's PlayStation 4, but why?
Nintendo Has Opened Up for Cross-Platform Play With Xbox One X
While many of you are probably scratching your head like myself, there's no doubt that there is plenty of good reason. Nintendo has been a company that has been avid about being family friendly, family safe, and a company that wants to pursue innovation for years to come. Their newest console, the #NintendoSwitch, has garnished a rather wholesome amount of attention due to the announcements they made, and a very particular one coming from Mojang's president Jonas Märtensson came out saying rather clearly:
His statement has garnished heavy attention since Nintendo has been rather withdrawn from the idea of cross-platform play in the past and has even refrained from doing so with previous games. However, E3 2017 marked the change where it was confirmed by Mr. Märtensson where Xbox Live's login will appear on the Nintendo Switch for Minecraft, which will enable the cross-platform play. This brings about a much bigger question: Where is Sony on this?
Sony Declines Cross-Platform Play with Xbox One X and Nintendo Switch due to "Safety Concerns"
So you may be scratching your head even more now. Trust me, we're on the same page, and so is Phil Spencer when this topic was brought up by Jeff Gertsmann. It's a rather face-palm worthy concern that gamers have and how we will even perceive cross-platform play. Before we continue, you should check out the video below before reading on, and seeing what else is going on behind the scenes. You may want to sit down and find fifteen free minutes to see how Phil really feels about this approach:
One of the biggest things to take from here is the fact Sony is concerned about how the three consoles will talk between one another. As Phil Spencer stated, a cross-platform experience between both Nintendo and Microsoft is already proving to be a rather successful idea. As stated the two games that will start this migration are Minecraft and Rocket League. It's one partnership that has garnished attention from fans and one that has caused Sony to be met with heavy criticism.
So What's Sony's Reason Behind the Cross-Platform Issue?
in a statement to Eurogamer, Jim Ryan of Sony's global sales and marketing for PlayStation, Sony has stated that they will continue to block cross-platform play. Their reason in short? Security issues. They feel that they can't protect their users from outside sources, especially children that play the game such as "external influences". Wait a second... Wait.. How is this the case if Nintendo is joining in on this factor? How is it possible that Jim Ryan could exert such an idea upon a possible partnership that could open up multiple possibilities for fans?
Even Phil Spencer has stated that he feels that Sony's assertion that Microsoft can't keep people safe is even an opening dialogue to their discussions. It's one that could very well mar Sony's earned respect from gamers. While it's possible for stuff like this to happen anywhere, Phil Spencer has stated in the interview above that they wouldn't even offer to make this type of partnership with Minecraft if they didn't feel it would be a safe environment. Which makes you wonder, why is Sony discouraging this? What is concerning them so much with their approach to gaming?
It Can't be Safety. Is Competition the Reasoning?
If you want to really get in depth with it all, you can almost guess that Microsoft wouldn't be making this type of encouragement if they were on top. It could be possible that they weren't able to compete against Sony's PlayStation 4, which has amassed an impressive 60+ million units sold. While Microsoft has struggled to keep up with Sony, it seems that Phil Spencer would still open up this possibility even if they were on top. He seems to be a man who looks forth to innovation and unity among gamers. He's one that wants to encourage fans to enjoy the games that they love and one that will allow gamers from around the world to communicate.
However, what if Sony's reasoning is that they feel that this would cripple the sales of the PlayStation 4? What if Sony feels this could cause a disconnect between whether or not players will still subscribe to their PlayStation Network service PlayStation Plus? What if these are the cases, Sony has to look at what their users want, what they need, and what they desire to have. There's no secret that many of us would love to be able to play some of our favorite games with our friends on Xbox, PC, MAC, Linux, or even Nintendo Switch.
While security should be a concern, there's still many ways to go about this, and to prevent anything that shouldn't be happening, from happening. For now, we can only assume that Phil Spencer, Reggie Fils-Aimes, and Jim Ryan will need to sit down a few more times before anything solid could come of it.