No Cross-Compatible Minecraft on PS4 is Sony’s Fault

Posted on June 15, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Games, iOS, Mobile, Windows 10, Xbox One with 27 Comments

No Cross-Compatible Minecraft on PS4 is Sony's Fault

When Microsoft announced its blockbuster plans to make Minecraft cross-platform compatible, the PlayStation 4 was notably absent from the list. Well, guess what? It’s all Sony’s fault.

Microsoft announced Sunday that it was bringing Minecraft cross-platform. So instead of supporting several major platforms—PCs, consoles, mobile, and VR—it will instead provide a single version, simply called Minecraft, that basically works the same across all platforms. And it will allow gamers to play with each other in the game regardless of which platform they’re using.

This is, as I noted, the holy grail for Minecraft fans, and the one major requests they’ve all made of Microsoft since it purchased Minecraft’s developer, Mojang. But there was one major platform conspicuously missing from the list of compatible devices, Sony’s PlayStation 4.

When asked about this at E3, Microsoft said it was Sony’s fault.

“We would love to work with Sony to bring players on PlayStation 4 into our united ecosystem as well,” a Microsoft statement explains.

Sony was asked what was up during E3 as well.

“It’s certainly not a profound philosophical stance we have against this,” PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan told Eurogamer. “We’re always open to conversations with any developer or publisher who wants to talk about it. Unfortunately it’s a commercial discussion between ourselves and other stakeholders, and I’m not going to get into the detail of that on this particular instance. And I can see your eyes rolling.”

“We’ve got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base,” he continued. “Minecraft, the demographic playing that, you know as well as I do, it’s all ages but it’s also very young. 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.”

Well, if your eyes weren’t rolling at first, I assume that last bit got them spinning like a slot machine. It certain got Xbox head Phil Spencer going.

“The fact that somebody would kind of make an assertion that somehow we’re not keeping Minecraft players safe, I found—not only from a Microsoft perspective, but from a game industry perspective—like, I don’t know why that has to become the dialogue,” he told Giant Bomb. “Like, that doesn’t seem healthy for anyone.”

“We take the safety of Xbox Live, of our players across all of our games—inside of Minecraft, obviously an incredibly important part of that—it’s incredibly important to our team,” he continued. “We would never put Minecraft in a place where we felt like … we weren’t keeping our players safe.”

I assume he had trouble being civil. This is Sony’s fault, pure and simple, and is an excellent expression of how this platform exclusivity mindset actually hurts everyone. This is nonsense.


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Comments (27)

27 responses to “No Cross-Compatible Minecraft on PS4 is Sony’s Fault”

  1. Daekar

    I love how collaborative companies are when they're trying hard to compete. Sony hasn't sold me a console recently, but this kind of behavior is going to keep me firmly in the Microsoft/Nintendo camp.

    • Darmok N Jalad

      In reply to Daekar:

      Why? Sony has a clearly dominant position this console generation. To me, this is a move that stands to benefit MS the most, because they take away some of Sony's advantage if Sony says "yes," and Sony gets to look like an anti-competitive jerk if they say "no." Sony loses either way they go, and I don't doubt that this is business strategy on both sides.

      As for being loyal to Nintendo? Don't they have a really crummy digital purchase policy that ties games to consoles and not your account, or have they fixed that?

  2. chaad_losan

    I drowned in a giant ocean of BS just there with Sony's total BS spin answer. Why don't they just tell the truth. They don't like to share. Period. They don't feel they have to share anyone with anything. So F U EVERYONE!

    In other news I predict that there will be an Anthem Special edition XBOX ONE X next year with the launch of the game. EA has a very good relationship with Microsoft. They have done EA special Editions before. I can only hope it's like the GOW4 with at least 2TB of storage and a special case and controller and the best version of the game.

  3. cawoodstock

    It very much sounds like the type of non answer a market leader can give.

  4. Darmok N Jalad

    MS proposes something that benefits the guys will less marketshare, and that includes Xbox. Nintendo has never had much of an online presence, so it's also a no-brainer for them. I think it's funny that Sony is getting bashed for protecting its market position, when I don't think the Scorpio reveal could have said "exclusive" any more times (even misleadingly on occasion). The real story here is that MS shrewdly set up Sony to look bad no matter what they said, and the media is eating it up. Sony wasn't ready for the trap and can't give a politically correct answer, but their reason is purely to protect their current advantage. If MS was so altruistic, Forza and Halo and Gears would be on PS4, too, so the media indignation is comical. When PS4 launched, Sony did something similar by bashing MS's early missteps with XboxOne. It's competition, and maybe we all benefit from it a little more than getting Minecraft cross-play. If MS, Sony and Nintendo all held hands, there wouldn't be much of a reason to have more than one of them.

    • jms429

      In reply to Darmok N Jalad:

      Then why not just take the cross-platform that MS is offering? If Minecraft isnt a deal breaker for most people (which I imagine it isnt) than they look like the altruistic industry leader. They could also use at as an excuse not to do cross platform later by giving a lame excuse on the next game and saying "see, were not against cross platform look at Minecraft!" My wife loves Minecraft and is in the market for a console, when she hears from the Gamestop person " I dont know how PS4 is going to handle Minecraft updates going forward" it changes purchasing decisions..

    • Ukumio

      In reply to Darmok N Jalad:

      You do realize that now PS4 has the smallest marketshare (for this game I mean) as I'm pretty sure Mobile alone dwarfs PS4's population in Minecraft, let alone when you add Windows 10, Xbox and Nintendo Switch.

      Not only that but by denying access to the new version of Minecraft, the version of Minecraft will now be behind every version of Minecraft (is 4J even going to continue updating the game.

  5. Minok

    The lunacy of such a statement by Sony is monumental.

    Children play minecraft in massive quantities NOT on the PS platform. Are those children at risk and having a horrible time? Sony can choose to deny its users access to the full universe and only allow them to interact with other PS users - but that won't stop people from playing other platforms. Sony's bet is that the users won't avoid the PS as a platform. If I was a kid and loved Minecraft, and was of the age to get a console for a gift, I'd certainly pick one that I can play with all my friends with. And the odds of that working is much better on a Non-Sony solution.

    This is the same stupid thinking that has Apple continuing to tout its 'messenger' app features - when none of my contacts but one or two use iOS devices beside me so EVERYONE I interact with regularly is a green-bubble, not a blue one. So the blue bubble features are irrelevant, and won't change.

  6. hometoy

    Don't care about it on Sony, so long as it works in Linux I'm happy. Of course, Linux isn't on the list either.

  7. Waethorn

    Microsoft: give us all your players, Sony!!!

    Sony: No.

  8. Waethorn

    Sony probably has the most players of any of the merged platforms.

    The Java version, which is the most popular, is still being kept separate from Microsoft.

    Microsoft and the other combined mobile platforms will be in the minority.

  9. Bats

    This is an EXTREMELY SMART MOVE by Sony. 

    Imagine a chess match between the two companies and Microsoft just landed their knight on a particular square, where they are one move away from "checking" Sony's king. Then in a surprise move Sony "castles the king and rook, totally throwing off Microsoft. 

    OMG...this is good stuff. Sony must be laughing so hard right now. They just cut of Microsoft at the knees. What Microsoft is trying to do is obvious and reading that Phil Spencer was pissed, confirms that. 

    Paul Thurrott says that this kind of move hurts everybody. Really, exactly how? This is typical HIM. Paul will tell you something like that, but he won't tell you how. Exactly how does this game hurt people or players? The game is fading anyway as I understand that people are heading onto another one called Roblox.

    If Sony continues their stance,...nothing changes. Absolutely no one suffers, nothing happens. 

    You watch,...Paul will write predicting that their will be a rebellion among Sony players over this. Yah...right. 

    Paul must really think we are that stupid.

    • Tallin

      In reply to Bats:

      It's possibly a good move by Sony, but not if the PR backfires on them like Fallout/Skyrim mods. Then they'll backpedal and act like they're being super magnanimous.

      I honestly think the thought process at Sony was something like this:

      Sony: "Okay, so we say we're open to cross-platform play but we know Microsoft will never allow it on Xbox, so we're safe there."

      [Microsoft opens up to cross-platform play]

      Sony: "Aw, crap!"


      "Think of the children!"

    • Minok

      In reply to Bats:

      The assumption is that new children getting their first consoles will not completely discount and not consider the PS solutions because of its walled-garden minecraft world. We will see what holds true over time. Maybe as the relevant age bracket grows into getting consoles they will opt for one that supports the minecrafte interoperable world and choose some other platform. Its not so much about the folks that already have an investent in a console that they cannot play with their friends with, but about those that are getting their first consoles/computers...

    • Minok

      In reply to Bats:

      Bad analogy - because in that analogy, Sony is CHEATING at chess and Microsoft is incompetent if they don't call them on it. You CANNOT castle if you are under check or any space the king has to move over is under direct threat by an opposing piece. So castleing out of check is not possible. Just saying.

    • Waethorn

      In reply to Bats:

      Roblox's fad status is fading too.

      Personally, I'm looking forward to Boundless, but I'm still waiting for the PS4 beta.

  10. Skolvikings

    I think Sony balked at having a game that requires a Microsoft Live login to use the multiplayer options. I can see that. Not saying I agree with the stance, but I can see why they balked initially.

    Ultimately, I predict they'll resist unless their user base demands otherwise.

  11. Craig.Carboni

    How do the three platforms compare when it comes to a pleasant playing environment?

    • Narg

      In reply to Craig.Carboni:

      Considering this is Microsoft, and this is Minecraft, I can't see that there would be any difference at all. Other than the obvious controller vs. keyboard thing. Which to me is a personal preference. The game really does work well everywhere.

  12. Chris_Kez

    Beyond the obvious desire for lock-in, I wonder if Sony has some concern about their network performance.

  13. Chris_Kez

    Anyone can give a non-answer. It takes a Global VP of Marketing to elevate it to an anti-answer.

  14. Chris_Kez

    If you read the full interview, Wesley has a great follow-up to Paul Ryan's bulls--t answer about protecting the children:

    Wesley: It doesn't seem to be a problem for Nintendo, perhaps the most mindful video game company of the protection of children.

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

    So it's not a philosophical issue, it's a commercial issue; no it's a player safety issue. Wait, what?

  15. toukale

    This may seem as a jerk move from Sony and hostile to some users, but I can understand their position from a business standpoint. They are in a position of strength in the console arena, whereas Microsoft is not, so it's in Microsoft best interest to do all they can to compete with the lead Sony has. I don't see how this benefits them (Sony) at all as far as selling more ps4's, because let's not kid ourselves that's what this is about, selling more consoles. Some of us may not like it, but that's the reality of the situation.

    • Mestiphal

      In reply to toukale:

      true, but lets say you got a son, little Timmy, and a nephew little Johnny. Now, Johnny plays Minecraft on a PC or a Nintendo... little Timmy wants to get on that Minecraft action, but only has a PS4 and an Xbox at home, he got the PS4 because it is the supper dupper gaming console, and you guys have the xbox cause you bought into the "entertainment center" idea. Now, if they want to play together, guess which system you'll be buying little Timmy Minecraft for... and after all, the money is not in the consoles, it's in the games.

  16. snapch23

    We actually wants the sims mobile cheats online.