We dream of a future where cross-console multiplayer becomes a reality. Destiny 2 players on PS4 running raids with friends playing on Xbox One, Tekken players compete in console-wide tournaments, Minecraft players adventure and build worlds together, regardless of their console choice. These are things that we would love to see in this generation, and Phil Spencer had told GameStop that these conversations are ongoing between Xbox and PlayStation.
“We talk to Sony all the time,” Spencer said earlier today at the Brazil Game Show. “With Minecraft on PlayStation, we have to be one of the biggest games on their platform in terms of sales and gameplay. Same with Nintendo. The relationship with Nintendo on this front has been strong. They’ve been great supporters, and we continue to collaborate with them. But I think Sony’s view is different. They should talk about what their view is…”
We are wondering if Sony will play nicely. Spencer has been vocal about Microsoft’s willingness to extend bridges on both platforms to play together, but is Sony sabotaging this effort?
“I have a real struggle making comments about their motivation or timelines. I know there is a certain view that says if my friends have this console, they can’t play with people who buy another console. That’s a reason they go buy my console,” Spencer said.
It makes sense, and Spencer points out that it makes good business sense to allow gamers to play together, regardless of console.
“I think people look at [cross-play] and say is it better for gamers,” he said. “If it’s better for gamers, I have a hard time thinking why we shouldn’t go do this, especially when you’re trying to make the gaming business a bigger business; grow it, get more games, create more opportunity…”
We know that the olive branch comes with a few strings attached, and we highly doubt that a cross-play deal will benefit Microsoft in the instance more than it will benefit Sony, but this may be a huge brand play for both companies.