Microsoft talked about the possibility of cross-play between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 back in June last year, at which time Sony wasn’t very considerate. At the beginning of this year, Microsoft again announced that the company was in talks with Sony for cross- platform play for Minecraft between the Xbox One and the PlayStation networks. While Sony’s response was unclear at that time, Microsoft now reveals that the discussion is still on with Sony, and that they hope the company is looking forward to cross-play implementation on other titles.
Aaron Greenberg told GameReactor at Gamescom 2017 that “we are talking to Sony about crossplay to partner with them on Minecraft and of course we would like to enable them to be part of that; one community, to unite gamers and hopefully Sony will be supporting.”
Sony’s PS4 has become the console of choice for users, and is currently the best-selling console globally. Having said this, for Sony, enabling cross-play might not come as an advantage at this point. For Microsoft, it might be the perfect strategic tool for marketing their hardware to PlayStation fans.
Back in March 2016, Microsoft showed interest in connecting the Xbox line to other gaming networks, including PS4 and Nintendo’s own online service. A few sources say that Sony was previously open to it, but subsequently did not take the discussion anywhere.
PlayStation executive Jim Ryan reveals that the main reason for the delay – or rather not going ahead with the cross-play between PS4 and Xbox One for Minecraft – was the safety of its users. For the cross-play to function, Sony has to allow PSN to connect to an outside network where Sony will not have complete control over the experience, and this might be risky for children. He added that the safety of its users is its top priority, and everything else falls below that on the list.
The discussion on Microsoft partnering with Sony sounds like it’s still on, for now, but nothing’s on paper yet or announced by either party. Stay tuned to know when it happens.