Sony is looking for a solution that will be “accepted” by the PS4 community regarding cross-platform play with Xbox One and Switch.
Speaking at the Gamelab conference in Spain today, Sony Interactive Entertainment America CEO Shawn Layden said the company is looking into “a lot of possibilities” regarding the ability for PS4 users to play with those on competing consoles.
Sony has faced rather severe backlash of late over the inability to play Fortnite on Switch if folks used the same account to play it on PS4.
“We’re hearing it, said Layden when questioned by Eurogamer at the conference. “We’re looking at a lot of the possibilities.
“You can imagine that the circumstances around that affect a lot more than just one game. I’m confident we’ll get to a solution which will be understood and accepted by our gaming community, while at the same time supporting our business.”
While Layden’s comment is noncommittal, it’s better than the stock reply made by Sony during E3 2018. And, as he said, the ability for folks to play with other system owners goes beyond Fortnite.
Psyonix has wanted everyone to be able to play Rocket League together for ages. Psyonix has said bringing PS4 on board is a “push of a button” away should Sony ever change its stance, as the game allows for PC, Switch, and Xbox One users to play together.
Another title which supports the option is Minecraft, which Nintendo and Microsoft are rather proud of – you saw the cheeky trailer.
John Smedley, former president of Sony Online Entertainment, believes Sony’s planting its feet on the matter due to money.
“When I was at Sony, the stated reason internally for this was money,” he said last week. “They didn’t like someone buying something on an Xbox and it being used on a PlayStation. simple as that. Dumb reason, but there it is.”
On the flip side, one analyst believes Sony has little to gain by enabling cross-platform play. According to Karol Severin at MIDiA Research, PS4 has the hardware lead this generation, and as such, doesn’t need to offer the incentive.
While both Smedley and Severin are right in their assessments, times are changing and they are changing fast. Publishers are looking to the cloud, which the companies say will allow customers to play games “where they want and on any device they want” once streaming takes over.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has previously said playing video games is “less about having specific devices” in order to play a certain game. Instead, it’s about games being “accessible on any device.” He reiterated as much during the Xbox E3 briefing. Ubisoft, Capcom, and Electronic Arts are also on board, as each want the ability for customers to play games on any device they wish.
Maybe. That’s the theory at any rate. We don’t pretend to know how the big three would handle such things.
Hopefully, Sony will get on board will cross-platform play sooner rather than later. It already allows cross-play with PC. Even if it doesn’t want to make friends with Microsoft just yet, hopefully it will at least change its stance on Nintendo. It would be a step in the right direction “For the Players” at least.