Minecraft on the Nintendo Switch has been on the receiving end of a major update, allowing the console's users to have cross-platform play with Xbox One, PC, and smart phone users. It's yet another example of the hugely successful creatively-minded title allowing greater accessibility for its users, though some may notice that Sony's PlayStation 4 is very much absent from the list of compatible platforms.
The issue of cross-platform play with the PS4 has been one that has rumbled on for some time, with plenty of games over the years struggling to get Sony to budge on its cross-play stance. Although the issue raised its head foremost with Rocket League, it has once again come into the spotlight in the wake of potential Fortnite cross-play, with suggestions that by blocking PS4 users from being part of the cross-platform party Sony is being anti-consumer.
While Sony comes under fire for its refusal to move forward with cross-play, its competitors have been all to happy to promote what play is available with their own platforms. Nintendo and Xbox have been getting friendly over on Twitter, having a nice, positive conversation about exactly what the companies would want to build together.
Our bodies are ready. What are we building?— Xbox (@Xbox) June 21, 2018
Although this playful conversation easily doubles up as throwing a little bit of shade Sony's way, it does highlight how far behind PlayStation is in comparison to its peers from a cross-platform play perspective. Sony has been extremely protective against cross-play for the PS4, with Microsoft trying to open discussions up back to 2016, and in spite of Sony's own history with cross-play dating back to the PS2, the company doesn't seem to be having any of it this time around.
It's becoming a major headache for Sony, however. PS4 players are becoming increasingly frustrated at being unable to play some of the most popular games with their friends who own systems other than PlayStation and PC. After all, the PS4 may have a massive player base, but it still cuts out that sizeable Xbox One user base and the ever-growing Switch to boot. It will particularly sting for Minecraft fans, too, given that being able to create something with friends on Xbox One or Switch seems entirely out of the question.
As it stands, Sony is remaining steadfast in its refusal to join up with the cross-play consensus. However, the longer the conversation goes on, the more difficult it gets for the PS4 to remain the odd one out. Given that the PS4 still claims to be "for the players," Sony will either need to rethink its strategy or replace its well-known branding.