Nintendo and Microsoft are looking to hype up the angry rift that has grown between console gamers and Sony following its decision to ban Fortnite cross-play and cross-progression. Sony sees cross-play support as a threat to the PlayStation 4’s domination of the current-generation console and former Sony Online chief John Smedley said the move “[is] all about money… simple as that”.
While Nintendo and Microsoft are embracing cross-platform play for Fortnite, the duo has now teamed up to highlight cross-platform play for yet another game, this time Minecraft. A new ad pokes at Sony for blocking PS4 owners from playing against friends on other consoles. Today marks the day that Nintendo is rolling out an update for Minecraft that enables cross-platform play with the PC, Xbox One, and smartphones.
Sony still refuses to allow the same. It still seems a little strange to us to see in this Nintendo commercial a woman holding an Xbox One controller playing with a Switch gamer — it’s been drilled in our heads that each respective platform has its own multiplayer silo, but those walls are now crumbling. Nintendo even encourages players to create and survive together in Minecraft on the Xbox One and Switch.
Word is that a marketing deal has been signed for cross-play promotion. Presumably, that means that we will see similar commercials from Microsoft touting the Switch and cross-play capability. As for Sony, it shows no signs of backing down from its cross-play grinchiness. The company issued the following statement once Fortnite cross-play outrage became deafening:
We’re always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming experience. With 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.
At this point, Sony has no real motivation or desire to change course, even with angry gamers holding up their digital pitchforks. So while we’re happy to see that Nintendo Switch and Xbox One gamers can play with each other, it’s doubtful that Sony will change its mind.