It has been such a heated discussion lately that has weighed on everyone’s minds, how cross-play should be a thing that needs to be happen between consoles. But Sony doesn’t seem to want to play ball. At the recent E3, Sony has mentioned it has no plans of opening cross-play for games like Minecraft which recently announced that it will support cross-play between Xbox One, Switch and PC users.
I think that Sony has the right to be concerned because this means that people don’t really need to buy a PS4 to play with their friends on games that require cross-play. But prohibiting the same, could also mean people would think twice to buy a PS4 if it does not offer the same cross-play feature for games that has it. It’s a balance between both and Sony is definitely risking it all by not doing it.
Just recently, we also received news that Epic’s Fortnite accidentally switched on the cross-play feature between PS4 and Xbox. We witnessed that it is indeed possible but Sony doesn’t want any of it. Whatever Sony’s reasons are, I think that they could really benefit from cross-play but at the same time I also think that it’s a wise decision on their part.
So why should Sony agree to cross-play? Here are some advantages and disadvantages in doing so.
Let’s go over some advantages first. First, allowing cross-play would mean a unified gaming community. A community of gamers who just want to play with each other. That regardless of console type that they can live peacefully among themselves and play with their buddies online on a certain game. Considering the number of games that offer cross-play though it is not that many at the moment.
Second of all, allowing cross-play means more sales for that game. This also allows more developers to be flexible with their games and allow cross-play where possible. Regardless of platform, a game that allows cross-play will become popular among gamers.
Third, from a consumer’s standpoint, allowing cross-play means you don’t have to buy a second console or a different console for that matter just to be able to play with someone on a game that offers cross-play.
Now for the disadvantages and this is more on a business standpoint for Sony. First, if they allowed cross-play, people won’t have the need to buy a new PS4 console. Because then they can just stick with what they currently have. So if they already own an Xbox then there’s no need for them to buy a PS4. The only reason people would want to buy the PS4 would then be its exclusives but if you can’t even play with anyone else on those, then those kind of games won’t thrive in a world full of cross-play games. That is if the world is only filled with people who think about cross-play more than having enriching single player experiences.
Another disadvantage I see is that developers will focus more on creating cross-play games. It may be possible that console exclusives will be nonexistent at this point. There won’t be any point convincing someone to buy a specific console because you can just buy whatever is cheaper if your aim is to play cross-play. Sure, console specific developers can still create an awesome single-player experience but they may be outshined by the plethora of cross-play games being dished out at this point.
These are mostly just my opinion and I’m sure this is a feature that a lot of people really want but for me, this is really not important to me. I’d still prefer a Sony console any day regardless if they want to open cross-play or not. Regardless if I have friends who have Xbox consoles, I’d still prefer the PS4. It’s just that it’s the console I grew up with and the games I grew up with have always been in that console.
I’m not against the idea of a cross-play feature. But that is just it, it’s just a feature. It’s not something I necessarily need. It’s something out of convenience for those who’d like to play with their friends on other consoles. At the end of the day, it’s really up to your preference. Gaming is a very expensive hobby, regardless of the console you own. The question is if Sony doesn’t allow cross-play, would you do anything in your capability to play with your friends.