I’m a die-hard Xbox gamer. I’ve owned all three generations of hardware, and I still have problems with getting defensive when people talk trash about my choice of platform. That’s why the news about Sony being the odd one out when it comes to cross-play in Fortnite, Minecraft, and Rocket League evokes that feeling of schadenfreude.

But let’s be real here. The situation really isn’t that bad for Sony, and it’s not like they’re repeating a mistake they’ve made before. They’re operating from a position of strength, holding an unfathomably large lead in console sales over their rivals, all while offering some of the best exclusive games on the market. Their hardware at the start of this generation maintained the graphical and computational advantage all the way up until the Xbox One X launched. They’re the strong one of the Big Three, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

Pillar Of The Community

Horizon Zero Dawn™_20170303130332

It’s a long way down from the top

Sony’s PlayStation brand is at its strongest, only being toppled by the sales of their previous systems. The PS4 is already on track to surpass the performance of the PS3, and their PlayStation Network active users have never been higher. They’re riding the wave of popularity they’ve created for themselves through their excellent business practices and the woeful stupidity of their main competitor early on.

So while I know folks are tearing at their figurative robes and smearing themselves with ashes in despair that a handful of games that have cross-play don’t have that capability with the PS4, not much is going to change. Sony’s lead is already well carved out, and besides the sleaziness of locking Epic Games player accounts to the PS4, it isn’t as bad as people are making it out to be. The PS4 still has some of the best exclusive games on the market to this day, and holds one of the most loyal fanbases in console history. For many, the issue with cross-play is a minor inconvenience at its worst; something that select gaming news sites have blown way out of proportion.

Now I won’t go so far as to claim they don’t deserve the shade being thrown at them over the cross-play issue. In fact, I think it’s pretty hilarious to be honest. Clearly, Nintendo understands the advantage they hold in this situation by working with Microsoft, and it’s a happy accident that gamers benefit from this cooperation. Sony may be hurting the PlayStation brand by holding out, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to see any negative consequences as a result. The world is going to keep spinning, the PS4 is going to keep selling, and people are going to cool off about the issue.

I know I’m probably contradicting something I’ve said previously, but I doubt that this is evidence that Sony is somehow turning into an arrogant victor in the war of the consoles. First, the PS3 wasn’t a colossal bungle like the Xbox One originally was, and Sony’s reluctance to play nice with competitors isn’t the death knell of the PlayStation brand. They have interests to protect, no matter how petty and asinine they are.

Don’t get me wrong. Sony is being tremendously anti-consumer, but it isn’t like any gaming platform hasn’t been at some point. Microsoft and Nintendo are just as guilty of being enormous pricks to consumers. However, that doesn’t mean that Sony is excused of any negative backlash for their choices.

Sony could do with a little self-evaluation to make sure they aren’t gliding into the wrong flightpath. I know they can afford to spend a little of their goodwill on pursuits that will fortify their position as the dominant platform, but they’d best make sure their house is in order as long as they’re securing their foothold. After all, their competitors are chomping at the bit, and they’re working together now.

But calm down folks. It isn’t like Sony is locking down your games with always-online functionality or destroying content creators with copyright claims. They’re just holding their players back from playing with others.

What’s your take on Sony regarding cross-play? Do you think it matters that they aren’t letting their platform play with others, or is it just overblown nonsense? Is Sony destroying goodwill, or are they just fine doing their thing? Let’s hear it in the comments!


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Posted by Shelby "Falcon509" Steiner

I'm just a gamer that enjoys talking about my hobbies. I do a little more than that too. I love cooking, grilling, being outdoors, going target shooting, etc.

12 Comments

  1. To be fair, about five years ago Playstation tried to cross-platform with Xbox and Xbox did not want to have any part of it, basically because they didn’t want PS fans and Xbox fans playing together. I’d be interested to know why Xbox suddenly had a change of heart, personally.

    As a Sony fan, I don’t particularly care one way or another. It’d be nice, I guess, but I think there are more important things over which one can get their panties in a knot.

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    1. The Playstation/Xbox crossplay issue where Xbox held out was actually even longer ago than that, this gen has been active now for five years (crazy right?) but like Sony is now, Microsoft was acting from a position of strength. They were the market leader in the high powered game (Wii was something different) and they got a bit arrogant which led to the debacle of the XBOX One launch. Aside from Microsoft not being in the position of power, they’ve also changed philosphy on the brand under new leadership. Microsoft views getting the brand out to as many people and having them interact with XBOX is more important than anything else and what better way to do that than to open up their previously very walled garden.

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      1. Omg you’re right. That was even longer ago than I realized… But yes, Microsoft was in a much more favorable place at the time. As far as it stands now, I’m not particularly worried about Sony. They cashed in some good will (maybe) but I don’t think they’re stupid. They creamed Microsoft by focusing on the consumers, and I’m sure they haven’t forgotten that. But it’s fun that Xbox and Nintendo get to play together, at any rate.

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        1. I wouldn’t say the necessarily focused on the consumers as much as they just exploited Microsoft’s bungle, just as Microsoft and Nintendo are doing the same now. I think it’s dangerous to assume that a major corporation has anyone’s best interests at heart besides their own.

          That said, their hardware and software is great. They just have some questionable practices, though the same could be said for any company.

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          1. I don’t mean to say that they are following their heart or anything like that. What I meant is that Sony started as an entertainment company, which has a certain culture around it, versus Microsoft, which was a computer/software company, which has a much different focus. Cassette tapes and CDs were always okay to share, but computer programs were not, for instance. Using a huge, overly-large sweeping brush stroke, I’d say that, in general, Sony comes from a background that is just inherently more consumer-friendly. But all business make mistakes, of course.

            Businesses always check their bottom lines, for sure. I think Sony is going to be just fine, though, just as I think Microsoft and Nintendo will be just fine, as well.

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  2. I think my overall problem with Sony and this issue is that it seems like they can no longer read the room. When the XBOX One and PS4 were unveiled, Sony knew how to read their hardcore base and rally them. Now they seem to be stepping on their own toes. And its not just with Fortnite and crossplay, this has been a string of poor decisions over the last few years that seems like they have moved away from being that gamer friendly brand they painted themselves as at the launch of the PS4.

    From coming out and saying that they thought EA Access was a bad match for the PS4 because it didn’t bring any value to them to their doubling down on PSNow and PS2 Classics as a response to Microsoft’s backwards compatability program to still not being able to change your name on PSN to the share functionality not working on PS4 for most people for over a week and radio silence from their team. Fortnite, crossplay, and the Epic account hijacking is just another move to me that signifies they may be forgetting what got them back to the dominant position once again. The good news is that Microsoft and Nintendo seem to be playing the right cards and the next gen is going to force Sony to work extra hard to retain their hold on the market and that is going to make gaming extra good.

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  3. I’m a PC gamer, used to play on Xbox, but now just PC really. I don’t care much for console wars, I just don’t care enough.

    But for me Sony are slowly tarnishing their reputation. Sure they don’t have to do anything about cross play, but the fact that they seem unwilling to consider it in a lot of cases and others are embracing it comes across as very anti-consumer to me. It might not impact them much at the moment, but the more it happens the more it could become an issues.

    I’m looking at it like loot boxes, they crept in here and there and no one really minded that much, there were a few vocal outcries, but mostly it fell on def ears. But now, we’re seeing companies like EA taking steps to make points of their not being loot boxes because there reputation took a huge hit. Warner brothers were torn to shreds over the Shadow of Mordor games. I think if Sony continue like this it could eventually blow up in their face.

    I’m all for inclusvitiy, not exclusivity and Sony seem the opposite which is why I don’t want a PS4.

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  4. I think Cross-play is a good idea because alot of people have the same game rocket league but with a different console. Xbox, Nintendo and Sony User should play together

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    1. I wish that would be the case. Maybe sometime soon?

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  5. I’m a late Microsoft/Xbox owner, but console wars were how I rolled as a kid. I really feel like they have no place in today’s gamer environment. Play what you want with the console of your choice, and for goodness’ sake let people enjoy things. I gravitated towards Sony PlayStation because that system had the most games I liked (Final Fantasy, er, others), and my assumption was also that people who went with Xbox were doing the same thing. I played Xbox with friends and I liked that they had voice control before PS did. It just seems silly to me to make it a serious issue. Mutual joking is fine, but if you’re seriously mocking someone for their console choices, you’re kicked out of my gamer parties.

    I feel like this is important in the question of crossplay, too. Nintendo and Microsoft are willing to play ball, and Sony is acting like a spoiled brat who can’t get their way. It would benefit everyone, but I guess Sony is taking the competitive side of wanting to hurt their opponents more than benefit their consumers and help themselves. People tend to remember that. Is Sony going to go under because of this? Probably not, but the fact that Microsoft was willing to go for collaboration was a factor in me wanting an Xbox 360 (along with wanting to play Lost Odyssey). I like team players even though i might not always play well with others 🙂

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    1. I know I’m replying to this super late, but I wanted to note that Microsoft is really starting to show that they’re serious about courting larger markets. I know that Lost Odyssey is playable on the Xbox One now, and NieR Automata is now on the Xbox One as well. It’s also possible that the platform will see even more Japanese games in the future as they pursue that market too.

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      1. Your reply works out perfectly because I check my comments about once a week! I would have to buy an Xbox either way. I’m happy it’s on the 360 which I have.

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