Well, it’s about time. Minecraft on PS4 is finally joining all the other versions in receiving cross-play support .
Further still, the PS4 version will now be updated on the same schedule as the rest of the bedrock versions. Gamers are understandably celebrating the update, and they’re presumably looking forward to playing with their PlayStation-owning friends.
I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but as great as this news is, it’s coming far too late. It has been two years since cross-play first came to Minecraft , and one year since the Nintendo Switch joined the party. Yet, we had to wait until December 2019 to get cross-play on PS4. It’s frankly ridiculous, and it entirely Sony’s fault.
Gamers love cross-play because it’s such a consumer-friendly feature. It allows people to play with their friends, regardless of their consoles and without having to buy new versions of the game. As such, it’s a really good optic for companies searching for a positive PR boost.
That’s what makes Sony’s previous refusal to include it so completely baffling.
In fairness to Sony, they have been slowly relenting. Fortnite and Rocket League both support cross-play between the PlayStation and other consoles. It’s just such a shame that it has taken so long for one of the biggest games out there to get the support it needed.
It’s very simple to lay pretty much all the blame at Sony’s feet. In an interview with Windows Central , Microsoft made it clear that they were willing to include PlayStation in crossplay back in 2017, but that Sony wasn’t having it:
We believe in giving gamers the opportunity to play the games they want with the people they want. Whether that means working with our partners to deliver cross-network play with games like ‘Rocket League’ and ‘Fortnite’ or enabling cross-device play with the likes of Minecraft, we are supportive of new scenarios that enable more people to play and have fun together while gaming. We would love to bring players on PlayStation 4 into our Minecraft ecosystem as well but have nothing further to share at this time.
It might be easy to ignore how long this has taken now that cross-play is finally here, but it’s important to remember that it was Sony dragging their heels that delayed it. As much as I love the PlayStation consoles, it’s obvious that their marketplace supremacy has made them arrogant.
It certainly feels like they’re effectively the bully in the playground that is the modern games industry. They love throwing their weight around until enough people convince them to stop it. Let’s just hope that this is a sign they’ll stop pulling stunts like this in the future.