Sony's Explanation For Not Offering Cross-Platform Play Doesn't Fly With Xbox

(Image credit: Sony)

For the last couple of years there has been an escalating conversation about cross-platform compatibility between the home consoles and PC. Companies like Sony have made it so that the PS4 can cross-play between certain PC games, but the console is prohibited from playing with the Nintendo Switch or the Xbox One, much to the disappointment of gamers the world around. Even with petitions and constant social media pressure to make the PS4 cross-play compatible with the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, Sony has used one excuse after another to deny the people what they want. The latest explanation, however, isn't flying too well with the folks at Xbox.

According to the Independent, Sony's CEO, Kenichiro Yoshida, mentioned during the IFA Technology show in Berlin that the reason cross-play is limited to PS4 and PC is because it's about giving users the "best" experience to play games like Fortnite, saying...

On cross-platform, our way of thinking is always that PlayStation is the best place to play. Fortnite, I believe, partnered with PlayStation 4 is the best experience for users, that's our belief.

So, the idea is that simply having a third-party game on the PlayStation 4 means that, for users, it makes it the premiere experience to play and that you don't need cross-play to achieve the "best experience" with Epic Games' Battle Royale title, or other games that offer cross-play.

What's interesting, however, is that Sony still allows for cross-play between PC and PS4, which kind of contradicts Yoshida's comments. If the PS4 is the best play to experience the games, why allow them to play with PC gamers?

It's an interesting position for Sony, which is currently winning eighth-gen gaming with the PS4. As the front-runners, the company doesn't really have to do anything. And, much like the company's entrance into the seventh-gen coming off the sixth-gen win, there's a measure of arrogance in how Sony is dealing with policies and player principles within the PlayStation ecosystem.

Corporate VP at Microsoft and the Xbox division, Mike Ybarra, called out Yoshida on his comments, though, noting that "all games" should offer cross-play compatibility with the right input and options, and that serving the diverse gaming landscape is how it should be.

It's a dichotomy between two philosophies on gamers connecting.

It's funny because the roles were reversed during seventh-gen, with Sony being willing to embrace cross-play while Microsoft was not. At the time, Microsoft was leading the U.S. sales charge with the Xbox 360 just until Nintendo took over with the Wii.

At this point, however, it doesn't sound like Sony will be allowing for cross-play compatibility between home consoles in games like Fortnite, which has made a lot of gamers very frustrated at Sony's decision.

Of course, in the world of gaming, there's always a never-say-never attitude that designers and gamers must maintain. Who knows, maybe if Nintendo manages to pose a serious threat to the PS4 with the Switch we might see Sony changing its stance on cross-play compatibility.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.