Sony Has A Weak Excuse For Not Allowing Cross-Platform Play

Minecraft owners can soon play across Xbox One, Switch and PC. Rocket League owners will soon be able to play across Xbox One, Switch and PC. There's a console missing from that equation, and Sony's explanation why is not good.

In an interview with Eurogamer, PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan tries to get Sony's point across as to why it's holding out and...doesn't quite get there.

"We've got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base", he says. "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. Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it's something we have to think about very carefully."

When Eurogamer pointed out that, you know, even Nintendo is OK with this, Ryan says "Yeah, that's true. Everybody has to take their own decisions. We'll do that. Like I say, we have no philosophical stance against cross-play at all."

Sounds like there are some serious legal stances, though, ones perhaps involving the Xbox and Nintendo side of things (remember, Final Fantasy XIV can be played across PS4 and PC).

Shame for PlayStation owners, then, but everyone else can at least look forward to a future where a precedent has been set, and more and more games can hopefully work across platforms. Platforms that aren't the PlayStation 4, anyway.



    With Minecraft owned by Microsoft, it could even be a licensing thing.

      How? Minecraft is on everything including PS4 already, how would cross play affect that?

        While I agree with you that licencing is unlikely to be the issue, it is a possibility.

        We're not aware of what the contractual agreements are in place for server side support of Minecraft. It "could" be that cross-platform server integration is an additional licence cost. A cost that other platforms maybe more than willing to pay...or Microsoft has made concessions for various platforms for commercial reasons.

        But somehow seems unlikely...

          Or MS dragging their heels on getting it going on PS4.
          Might not be, but easily could be.

            Back in the day Sony wanted crossplay, and it was M$ making the excuses. Funny how a generation later its the other way around.

            The major difference was originally the PC was considered a totally separate party, with M$ clearly wanting to separate the PC and XB markets into two clear groups. Now, not so much...

              If it was any of these reasons, would Sony say that rather then the crap they went on with???

                They may have thought its better to stick with the "protect our community" line, no matter how stupid that sounds, rather than the "we don't want to pay for that option in the contract"

                Its is stupid, but I've been situations where I've had to help stick with the corporate line rather than reveal further details in commercial agreements...

                Possibly they were talking shit, thinking, "I can promise whatever I want, safe in the knowledge that there's no way the other guy will OH FUCK WHAT?"

                No idea, was just pointing out that in the earlier console eras, the arguments were in reverse, that's all. It was Microsoft coming up with lame excuses, now its Sony.

                Theres nothing but business reasons to avoid cross play, especially these days. Its just ironic to me that the justifications have come full circle to the point Sony is the one making bullshit excuses.

              People still say "M$"?

              You really showed that business, dude. I bet Microsoft... sorry i mean Micro$oft... will really reconsider their goal of making money and become a non profit organisation like their competitors are, apparently.

                Meh, its habit, nothing more. I have nothing against Microsoft (heh - even went to type M$ there...) in the slightest, I don't even realise I shorten it to M$. Theres no point me saying I wont do it again, because I probably will. I've been shortening it that way for far too long to avoid doing it again 100% of the time.

                You've made some pretty lofty assumptions there though yokoono. Maybe try to understand that something written online is often easy to misunderstand, and be less aggressive in your holier than thou attitude.

              Yeah, don't be that guy. Just write the name out properly.

                See above, its habit, nothing more, and one I doubt I'll ever get out of my system after decades of shortening it like that.

                But thanks for the far less keyboard warrior comment.

                  It just feels really low-brow to corrupt names like that is all, no hostility intended. I feel the same way about all the others (Crapple/Killary/Juliar/Turdbull, etc) too.

                  @zombiejesus fair enough, I generally feel that way as well. It just became synonymous with Microsoft right when I was really learning to touch type, and now the muscle memory has it ingrained so much its a conscious effort not to type M$. So now I'm hypocritical about it...

                  But I'd rather deal with it like this, and be able to explain myself, rather than feel like I have to defend myself after ridiculous extrapolations like yokoono. One way is civil, the other is inflammatory.

          The issue with the "MS dragging their heels" and contractual suggestions is that Rocket League has Xbox/PC/Switch too. I mean, clearly the issue here is Sony not playing ball.

          It also shows up what a lie the excuse they gave was, since they've had crossplay before.

      Lol, so they would get massive bad press with a shitty argument against it instead of coming out and saying "legally/contractually we are unable to allow this". Yep, sure.

    When Eurogamer pointed out that, you know, even Nintendo is OK with this...That's the hilarious part. This is the kind of answer I'd expect from Nintendo, not Sony.

    Xbox want it because it stops people buying PS4s because all their friends have one and you want to play online with them. Sony doesn't want it because then it doesn't matter that all your mates have PS4s.

    The dominant console never wants to allow cross platform. It was the same last gen with Xbox.

      This. This is the definitive reason.

      And its fine. The other companies would be doing the same if they were in their positon.

      No it's not. Microsoft and Sony have both said that its Sony's reticence but they're working through it like every other commercial agreement. Don't try and shit-can Microsoft just because they've done something right.

        I hope you're correct and that they're working through it, but Microsoft did make excuses until the demand died down last generation. That seems to happen every time this comes up. They'll do console to PC cross-platform play, but then console to console gets brought up between the main two and suddenly one starts making excuses.

        Settle down bud. Maybe stop looking for insults that aren't there. I clearly stated they have both done it. One this gen, one last. If I'm shit-canning MS for last gen, I must also be shit-canning Sony for this one. The fact that you see this as a slight against only MS says more about you than me.

        Also sadly for you I'm not "shit-canning either". Just stating my opinion on why I think Sony are pushing back. But hey, if you think the only reason they are dragging their feet is because they need to work through the commercial agreements... well then sir, I have a bridge to sell you. Hit me up for the details.

      You'd probably be right, if you weren't completely ignoring the fact that having cross-play also works against Microsoft for the exact same reasons.

      It freely allows people to go buy a PS4 and still play with their friends on Xbox, instead of forcing them to buy an Xbox to do so.

      It's definitely not the win-win situation you paint it as, because MS are pushing something that would give any potential customers the freedom to just buy their competitors products instead.

        Not saying it wont happen both ways but the console with the larger base has more to lose and the smaller base more to win.
        Hence its always the dominant player that puts the breaks on when this comes up.

    Rocket League has had PS4 & PC cross play for ages, if not since day one.
    PS3 had cross play with PC with Portal 2.

    wait, that is a weak excuse? as excuses go that is right up there there with concerning and mature valid reasons. especially given I have seen the cesspool of adults playing and talking to very young children

      Finally someone who hasn't got their head up their arse and looks at the big picture.

        This is definitely not looking at the big picture, that is eating out of Sony PR's hand. The big picture is cross-play is bad for the dominant console, which is the PS4 this gen.

      Then why didn't this stop them from allowing cross platform play on Rocket League? That also exposed PlayStation users to people who can not be banned through PSN.

      Given that the Xbox One is the the common factor in Sony's decisions not to allow cross platform play, I'd expect a better explanation about why that isn't the problem.

        Exactly. Nobody is questioning the rationale of the statement, just the inconsistently and clear double-speak that comes out of a better educated market. I mean, even WWE has evolved to bring viewers 'behind the curtain' because nobody is buying kayfabe now - so why treat people like morons?

        *reads comments on this post*

        Oh, I understand now.

      Adults don't play Minecraft on PS4? They can easily implement effective admin tools Sony can use to enforce their own policies over shared servers. It's a weak excuse because these concerns are being brought up for the first time now, instead of the countless other times they would have been relevant. It's a very transparent excuse.

        When Nintendo, the undisputed kings of 'protect the children from the internet devils!', are on board it just makes Sony using that excuse look laughable.

      But why would sonys cesspool be any better than microsofts cesspool? Sure, put fences around the place, divide gaming communities between brands, but the internet is still the internet. And your fences are all under cesspool water. Like a brackish swamp.
      They're not above the cesspool. Everyone's bathing in the mire. Breath it in.

      Mayaswell get rid of the fences. Boon for all, except fence makers.

    Maybe it's because they can't handle moderation of users on other platforms. Eg, banning/reporting trolls or abuse from other eco systems.

    It sucks for crossplay, but it does make sense if they want to protect kids in the Sony environment.

    So there excuse is basically "someone think of the children!" , piss poor.

    A friendly reminder: cross-play exists between Steam and PS4 with Street Fighter V. So indeed, they are not totally opposed to it.

    Sony realise that they already have implemented cross-play already for other games, right? Like Rocket League - a game that has people from all ages playing it?

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