Microsoft and Nintendo are working together for cross-play, but Sony is apprehensive to join - what this could mean for the FGC

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • June 16, 2017 at 5:43 p.m. PDT

You may have noticed that the Nintendo Switch was showcased during Microsoft's E3 press conference over the weekend when the topic about Minecraft came up. It has been announced that Minecraft will feature cross-play between Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo's Switch.

Not only that, but there will also be cross-play between the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam for Rocket League. It feels like we're heading into a new era for gaming, but one console appears to be missing from this.

Perhaps you are aware that there exists a versions of Rocket League and Minecraft on the PlayStation 4. Despite this, there are currently no plans on Sony's part to have cross-play with the other consoles.

Not only are there no plans from Sony, but Jim Ryan, the head of marketing for Sony Interactive Entertainment, expressed apprehension regarding the idea to Eurogamer. In particular he noted the responsibility that they feel they have with their install base.

"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," said Jim Ryan.

Despite this, Jim Ryan mentioned that they don't have any philosophical stance against cross-play, and have actually done it before. Street Fighter 5 players are certainly aware of this as the game features cross-play between the PlayStation 4 and PC.

Hit the jump below to check out Phil Spencer's response to Sony's reasoning.

Phil Spencer had this to say in response to Sony's comments: "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 from a game industry perspective.... I don’t know why that has to become the dialogue."

He also said that it's not "healthy for anyone." This makes sense as it appears to benefit the players more so than the big three themselves.

Based on what we're hearing here, it, at the very least, could be awhile before PlayStation is willing to work with Microsoft and Nintendo for the purpose of cross-play.

It is noted that they aren't completely opposed to the idea of it, but have so far never done it with the other two consoles. Sony doesn't appear to have many concerns regarding cross-play with the PC though.

As things stand, there won't be any cross-play for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite which will be playable on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the PC.

While it hasn't been announced one way or the other, we can probably not expect any cross-play for Dragon Ball FighterZ. The game will be playable, again, on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the PC.

Nintendo appears to be behind in the number of fighting games that are being produced for their console. Most of their fighters so far have been console exclusive.

Capcom have noted that if Ultra Street Fighter 2 were to sell well on the Switch, they'd consider adding the game to other consoles. As of right now, it's only available for the Nintendo Switch.

If a port to other consoles does happen, it could be another opportunity for cross-play for the Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch. Maybe.

If Sony were to ever take the leap to join Nintendo and Microsoft in their efforts to offer cross-play, we could potentially see more fighters in the future with the ability to play with those on other consoles.

Source: Eurogamer's interview with Jim Ryan, Giant Bomb's interview with Phil Spencer.
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