Sony has been taking a lot of flack recently for its unrelenting stance on cross-play, but the company has shown no signs of backing down so far. Nintendo and Microsoft have added to the pressure – whether intentional or not – with a Minecraft cross-play trailer aimed at highlighting the joys of inter-console gaming that Sony continues to deny its fans.
Criticisms of Sony’s refusal to allow cross-play have been mounting for some time, but the situation has reached boiling point recently when Sony not only blocked the feature on the immensely-popular Fortnite, but also prevented anyone who had played the game on PS4 from using that account on a different console.
Since then, Sony has faced a huge backlash from fans of Fortnite and PS4 alike, which was not resolved by Sony’s statement in response. The official Xbox UK twitter was quick to capitalize on the widespread discontent, poking fun at Sony by asking Nintendo UK: “wanna play some Fortnite later?”.
A similar sentiment appears to have motivated Nintendo’s trailer for Minecraft Crossplay, which can be seen below:
The trailer shows off complete unity between the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One brands, with controllers for both consoles held by players who join forces in a Minecraft world. The signature red and green colors of the consoles divide the screen in half, with the words “Create Together, Explore Together, Survive Together; Better Together” appearing on screen. It’s hard not to view this emphasis on in-game co-operation as also referencing the co-operation between Microsoft and Nintendo, which in turn highlights Sony’s absence from the partnership.
Regardless of whether the trailer was intended this way, it’s certainly the way it has been received. Almost every comment on the YouTube video references Sony’s cross-play stance in some way, while it is being circulated on Twitter as a masterful piece of industry shade-throwing.
With the way pressure is mounting from both consumers and competitors, Sony could be forced to respond in a more meaningful way soon. The Ex-CEO of Sony Online has claimed that the refusal to allow cross-play is motivated by money, but if the PS4’s competitors continue to offer a much-desired service that Sony doesn’t, the question of just how economically viable it is to block cross-play will surely come into doubt.