Microsoft Claims To Be 'Talking To Sony' About Playing Nice 

With the launch of the Xbox One X only a few months away, Microsoft needs an interim win to keep people interested in the console that is currently in a very distant second place to Sony. Which is why it is no surprise that Xbox Marketing Manager Aaron Greenberg told GameReactor it was "talking to Sony" about the potential for crossplay between the two consoles.

Image: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo

Crossplay is the term applied to allowing gamers to play with other gamers irregardless of what console they have chosen to bring into their homes. It's a kind of holy grail for gamers stuck on the less popular console as they're often not able to play with friends, and because a small userbase means fewer people to play with in general. With a reported 33 million Xbox Ones sold since launch, Microsoft is well behind Sony, which claims to have sold 60.4 million PS4s since launch.

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Given that Microsoft is a little behind, enticing gamers with the tease of potential crossplay makes a lot of sense. Greenberg, who was in Cologne, Germany at Gamescon, the largest gaming convention in Europe, told GameReactor, "It's a customer first focus and I think that's where the industry's going." He specifically pointed to the ability to play Minecraft across multiple devices, including the Xbox One, iPhone and Nintendo Switch.

But as for Sony itself, Greenberg said, "We're talking to Sony. We do partner with them on Minecraft and of course we'd like to enable them to be part of that one community, and unite gamers... We're hopeful that they will be supportive of it."

Yet it makes very little sense for Sony to join the team and unite all gamers across consoles.

"It's certainly not a profound philosophical stance we have against this. We've done it in the past," PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan told Eurogamer back in June. "We're always open to conversations with any developer or publisher who wants to talk about it. Unfortunately it's a commercial discussion between ourselves and other stakeholders."

That's because right now it's the best selling console available and one of the reasons people continue to buy into it is because it's the de facto choice if a person wants to play games with their friends. Playing nice with the competition simply isn't in the company's best interest — while it could be a potential boon for Microsoft.

[GameReactor, h/t Windows Central]


Comments

    I'm really not sure why Sony isn't joining in with Cross-play. There are cross-play games with PC (Rocket League comes to mind), so why not with Microsoft and Nintendo? I can't see how it would hurt Sony to allow it.

      The 'hurt' is when someone goes to pick up a new console, if they're asking themselves the question, "Which one will let me play with most of my friends?" the statistically most probable answer right now is, "The Sony one."

      If Sony allows cross-platform to be a thing, then that question becomes irrelevant, which gives new console buyers one less inducement to buy the Sony one.

      It's a dick move, but it's a commercially savvy dick move.

        Yeah ok, I can see where you're coming from.

        I don't have friends, so I just go for the console with the best exclusives :p

          For people with no friends, the equivalent question is "if I'm going to buy this game, which console is less likely to have empty multi-player servers?"

        Don't forget one more factor... if cross-platform is a thing, the question then becomes a cost one. "Why buy Sony to play with my friends when I can buy Xbox for $50 less and still play with my friends"

        Really, Sony shouldn't worry, they have so many exclusives that its still a viable option.

      Sony had crossed played with PC for ages with a lot more titles than Microsoft has which is bizarre considering their tie in with PC.

      You can see titles here - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_games_that_support_cross-platform_play

      As the article points out, a major reason people buy one console over the other is what their friends use. If you no longer have that boundary then it helps the weaker party far more than the stronger.

      Sony he similar talks when XBox was king, now the shoe is on the other foot. I wonder if it can be analogous to SMS. It used to be tied to networks. Once they all finally opened it up, it was a huge boon for business.

        Come on. One glance at that list should tell you straight away that it's woefully incomplete, little surprise since it was almost entirely written by one person three weeks ago. I guarantee Microsoft has more cross platform multiplayer titles than Sony.

          I wouldn't guarantee it at all considering Sony had pushed for cross-platform multiplayer titles much earlier than Microsoft did. They've had a lot longer to produce or encourage developers to produce cross-platform titles than Microsoft did. But, given Microsofts current situation, it probably won't be long before Microsoft easily take over.

          Not to mention that most, if not all modern consoles are now built on the same/similar technology making packaging for different platforms a lot easier.

          Last edited 24/08/17 5:52 pm

            Both companies have cross-platform multiplayer titles with PC for the last decade, the only additional experience Sony has is with Final Fantasy XI. History and experience are well past the point of being factors.

            Differing console hardware in older generations never really mattered, multiplayer network traffic is pretty much independent of the CPU/GPU implementation specifics.

              It's true, it was never about the technical side, the Dreamcast was capable!!
              Poor DC, ahead if its time...

              Not even about cross play at the end of the day.
              It didn't benefit Microsoft back then and it doesn't benefit Sony now.
              There is one difference to consider here though.
              Microsoft has been eying a singular enclosed network service end game.

              I literally can't be angry at either of them and keep a straight face.
              Sure Sony is being greedy, but this is Microsoft we are talking about and they aren't slacking by any measure.

      Sony tried cross play in the 360 days but microsoft said a big "no' apparently so this makes sense also how embarrassing for Microsoft to now be groveling at the feet of Sony.

        It’s okay for Sony to be dicks now because Microsoft were dicks back then? That’s how the world works right?!

          Didn't say it was okay, Do you really need me to explain how the world works?

    The PlayStation Network is complete shit & Sony have no idea how to make it work with Xbox live.

      Yes it's terrible, It's really quite extraordinary sh*t, But i doubt it's the reason stopping cross play, Greed almost always is the deciding factor.

      I'm fairly sure it's waaaayyy down the list of "things we cocked up when we designed the database and now we need to fix", wedged between username changes and region swapping.

      Nintendo still hasn't even managed to match even PSN quality yet, and they can still do cross-play for Minecraft...

    Microsoft should just buy Sony. They could afford it with the change that's fallen into the executive lounge's couch. Corporate law being what it is, Sony execs would almost certainly have to accept a buyout on the increased share value to Sony shareholders.

      US$40.4 billion... And I don't think that includes their vast assets in music and movie publishing. Hardly spare change, even for Microsoft, and the value of gaming to MS wouldn't come anywhere near worthwhile.

      Not to mention it would immediately thrust them into a large number of markets they have no experience (or interest) in.

        Sony does have vast assets in it's music and film properties, but it also has crippling debt from a half decade long run of losing billions of dollars a year. While they may not have any experience with these markets, imagine if Sony music was exclusive to Groove, or the only place to get Sony films was the MS store for 6 months after release. These are places MS would like to have an increased presence.

        Not saying any of that is a good thing, walled gardens suck imo. But to a corporate type that might look appealing.

      Shit ... that's not as silly as it sounds. PlayStation is really the only profitable division, so even if they managed to get enough for a seat at the table they could push to slice off that part of the business.

      Either that, or they'd be better off spending the money to buy-out some of the first party studios.

    Serious why would any1 with a clue buy a console, all consoles are obsolute before they are even released, lets just all buy old tech, you are just entering a race that has all ready finished

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