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.