Earlier today, Nintendo released a brand new trailer for Minecraft on Nintendo Switch, which showcases the game’s new cross-play capabilities. A new update has just been released for the ever-popular open-world game, which grants players the ability to play, craft, and explore with their friends across Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Windows 10, or mobile platforms.
Up until now, cross-play had been limited to mobile editions and Microsoft platforms. However, the aptly named “Better Together” update has now been released for Nintendo Switch, unifying almost every platform together (save for legacy editions of Minecraft, including the Java Edition).
Observant readers might notice that there is one publisher missing from the proceedings. In a move that is bound to induce more than a few eye rolls and gnashed teeth, publishing giant Sony continues to ban any sort of console cross-play on its platforms, in particular, on the PlayStation 4.
Where did this all start? The issue first came to light in 2016, when Psyonix’s Rocket League made the jump to Microsoft’s Xbox One. Originally released on PC and PlayStation 4, the vehicular soccer game was lauded by critics and gamers alike, and quickly gained popularity as a result of being made free to PlayStation Plus subscribers. Shortly after its release on Xbox One, the game’s developers made plans to expand the game’s cross-play to include Microsoft’s console. However, due to restrictions on Sony’s end, this development never came to fruition, and as of today, PlayStation 4 owners can only enjoy cross-play with PC players. On the other hand, Xbox One, Switch, and PC players are able to play matches with each other freely.
The issue of Sony’s restrictions on cross-play reached new heights last week when Epic Games’ insanely popular, battle royale game Fortnite was released for Nintendo Switch. Shortly after launch, players discovered that they were unable to sign into their Epic Games accounts on Switch if they had previously linked their accounts with their PlayStation ID. After days of intense scrutiny from both the press and gamers alike, Sony issued a rather weak response in regards to the lack of cross-play on their system:
“We’re always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming experience. Fortnite is already a huge hit with PS4 fans, offering a true free-to-play experience so gamers can jump in and play online. With 79 million PS4s sold around the world and more than 80 million monthly active users on PlayStation Network, we’ve built a huge community of gamers who can play together on Fortnite and all online titles. We also offer Fortnite cross-play support with PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, expanding the opportunity for Fortnite fans on PS4 to play with even more gamers on other platforms.”
It doesn’t seem like Sony is changing its stance on cross-play anytime soon. That hasn’t stopped Nintendo and Microsoft from capitalizing on the situation. In the newly-released trailer (which you can view below), both Nintendo and Microsoft hardware are shown off, which is a rather rare sight for the industry. The trailer also features a few splash images, adorned with the words: “Create Together/Explore Together/Survive Together/Better Together.” With Nintendo and Microsoft’s trademark red and green colors on display, the absence of Sony’s signature blue is made even more apparent.
Minecraft is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC, and a variety of mobile and handheld devices.