Sony Declining Cross-Play to a Cross Community - Why?

On this bright summer's day, I fancy discussing a topic which often entertains me on social media - the whole situation in which quite a few people are ticked off due to the fact that Sony constantly rejects any offers for cross-play with other platforms, namely with the competing console in Xbox. This isolates Sony while Nintendo, Xbox and Microsoft have been sharing player-bases for some time now. Why does Sony stick to their anti-crossplay position? 

This topic has been resurrected due to the latest viral game, of which you've all heard, in Fortnite - this is because the popular game on PS4 does not allow pairing with any other players on Xbox and Nintendo Switch. This went on to the extent where Sony blocked Fortnite PS4 players from using their accounts on the portable Switch; displaying their active say in preventing this ease of access. The reason for all of this exclusivity is rather simple; sales. Having sold over 80 million PS4 units since its release, Sony has properly dominated in the industry of game consoles, leaving Nintendo and Microsoft far behind in this aspect. (Of course, the Switch is may be viewed as handheld device, and in that genre, it's taken the cake decisively). Fueled by an onslaught of fantastic exclusive games, PS4 is isolating themselves from the rest of the industry perhaps in a similar way that Apple does so in the mobile industry. Allowing cross-play would take away from the 'Sony experience' and potentially reduce sales if we try to read between the lines. 

Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida offered the following words at IFA 2018 in response to the whole Fortnite situation: 

On cross-platform, our way of thinking is always that PlayStation is the best place to play. Fortnite, I believe, partnered with PlayStation 4 is the best experience for users, that's our belief.

Of course, if we look at the situation from the perspective of a member of the gaming community, which goes beyond the limitations of platforms, it's extremely discouraging to witness Sony maintain this conservational approach. This attitude fueled either by compassion or currency (or both), is one that Sony has held onto for a while now and may be the very reason why they dominate sales so much. The only way to enjoy the Sony experience and its player bases is to purchase their most recent console. What's also exciting is that a certain news source, https://kotaku.com/the-sorry-state-of-ps4-cross-play-1827178017, which I've used as one of my references, has reportedly uncovered a deleted tweet from a position at Sony. 

John Smedley, ex-Sony Online Entertainment Boss, spilt the beans on June 19 with the following statement: 

"When I was at Sony, the stated reason internally for this was money. They didn’t like someone buying something on an Xbox and it being used on a PlayStation. simple as that. dumb reason, but there it is.”

Who knows, perhaps Sony will change their minds in the distant future? A recent statement has them 'looking at a lot of the possibilities' and 'supporting our business' within the same sentence. Or else, just maybe, we shouldn't blame them due to their aim at maintaining their impressive presence in the industry, However, since Gamers.com.mt is passionate about gaming communities and nurturing them in their growth, we cannot agree with Sony's decision to prevent this incredible potential to unite gaming communities across all platforms. Meanwhile, Xbox and Nintendo celebrate their unity in adverts. 

Yet, the old saying of 'money makes the world go round' is one we'll have to overcome. 

Feel free to contribute or share any relevant opinions in relation to the argument below. How can the community force Sony's hand in allowing Cross-Play? 

Posted by Gabriel Sciberras on 10th September 2018, 11:01

I'm Gabriel - 17 year-old student attending a sixth form with a little free time on his hands. I've been working with Gamers.com.mt for a roughly a year now - spreading my interests in technology, gaming and writing over the platform along with interviews and hardware reviews. All constructive feedback is appreciated. Thanks for reading!

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