Sony’s Reason For No PS4 Cross-Play With Other Consoles? It’s For The Children

Sony is unexpectedly taking some heat from gamers during E3 2017, and it’s all because of cross-play. Announcements that Rocket League and Minecraft will support cross-play between PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, but not PS4 has some fans fuming. PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan tried to provide an answer Tuesday, but came across sounding like Nintendo from the days of the Wii.

As previously covered, Microsoft began pushing for cross-platform play between different console networks and PC in March of last year. Rocket League developers Psyonix were one of the first to hop on board as they already supported cross-play between the PlayStation 4 and PC.

At the same time, Microsoft and Mojang quietly began working to make Minecraft cross-platform by upgrading the Pocket Edition and making it available on PC as the Windows 10 Edition. This led to Microsoft’s E3 2017 media briefing reveal that Minecraft players on the PC, Xbox One, mobile devices, and Nintendo Switch will be able to play together.

Sony’s Response

Sony threw cold water on the idea after Microsoft’s initial announcement and continued to obfuscate when asked about it later in 2016. This led to a view from many in the gaming community that the console maker saw its huge console lead as a reason not to entertain cross-play with Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE network.

Rocket League on the Nintendo Switch.
[Image by Psyonix / Nintendo]

The cross-play news coming out of E3 2017 has led to complaints from PlayStation fans on social media and various gaming forums. This led to Eurogamer pointing out the frustration of fans who are asking why they can’t play with other platforms and getting a strange response.

“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,” Ryan said. “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.”

This sounds very much reminiscent of the days of the Nintendo Wii and Friend Codes. Nintendo was seen as overly-protective of online play at the time, but has obviously changed its ways to a degree.

Eurogamer correctly pointed out that cross-play is obviously not a problem for the protective Nintendo and got another strange response.

“Yeah, that’s true,” Ryan conceded. “Everybody has to take their own decisions. We’ll do that. Like I say, we have no philosophical stance against cross-play at all.”

Sony obviously has no problem with cross-play between the PS4 and PC, but it continues to obfuscate when it comes to cross-play with other consoles.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

The woodlands mansion in Minecraft.
[Image by Mojang]

[Featured Image by Mojang]