Cross-platform play is coming to the Switch in a big way thanks to Minecraft and Rocket League, both of which will allow Nintendo players to take on their Xbox and PC-owning friends. However, Sony - owner of the most popular console in the marketplace right now - isn't playing ball in either case, and has blocked cross-platform play on its system.
Keen to find out why, Eurogamer quizzed PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan at E3:
EG: Minecraft works cross-platform between Switch, Xbox and PC. Today, Rocket League was announced as working cross-platform between Switch, Xbox and PC. Both don't work cross-platform with PlayStation. Now, is this Sony not playing ball? What is actually going on here?
Jim Ryan: It's certainly not a profound philosophical stance we have against this. We've done it in the past. 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.
EG: Well, you must see that PlayStation owners are upset. They want to play with Switch owners, PC owners and Xbox One owners for these two big and important games, and they don't have an explanation for why. That's what I'm getting at, really.
Jim Ryan: Yeah. We've got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base. 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.
EG: 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.
EG: Is this a done deal? Or are you leaving the door open, perhaps?
Jim Ryan: I don't think anything is ever a done deal. Anybody who is dogmatic in that manner is typically a fool. That said, to my knowledge, there is no live conversation ongoing at the moment.
What do you make of this response? Are you annoyed that you won't be able to play against your PS4-owning chums? Leave a comment below to tell us all about it.
Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip!