Microsoft blames Sony for not letting PlayStation and Xbox owners play the same games together — but it’s more complicated than it seems

Microsoft blames Sony for not letting PlayStation and Xbox owners play the same games together — but it’s more complicated than it seems

Epic Games

  • Microsoft is blaming Sony for not permitting Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners to play games together.
  • “We’ve worked closely with Nintendo to allow cross-network play between Xbox One and Switch, and our offer to do the same with PlayStation players still holds,” a Microsoft consultant informed Kotaku.
  • While it’s true that Microsoft has been pursuing cross-network play between the Xbox One and competing platforms, Sony has a number of good causes for not going by way of with it on the PlayStation 4.

The largest Game in the world proper now, “Fortnite,” is on the market on just about any gadget you will discover.

You can play it on PC or on a Mac, on Xbox One or PlayStation 4 — it’s even coming to iPhone and Android in the close to future. Better but, you’ll be able to play the online-only, multiplayer Game throughout platforms. If I am taking part in it on PC, and you are on PlayStation 4, or your cellphone, we are able to play together.

There’s only one exception: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gamers cannot play together.

Sony and Microsoft are direct opponents in the Game console enterprise, and which means they function fully impartial on-line ecosystems; Microsoft’s is known as Xbox Live, Sony’s is known as PlayStation Network. They’re very comparable providers with very comparable functionalities, but they’re fully siloed off from one another.

Simply put: There’s no technique to play games throughout these two platforms.


Even although a few of the hottest games in the world are similar throughout the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, gamers on every console aren’t capable of play together. Games like “Call of Duty,” “Overwatch,” “Destiny 2” and “Fortnite” function in parallel throughout platforms.

You purchased “Destiny 2” on Xbox and Aunt Rose purchased it on PS4? Sorry, pal! You’re each taking part in alone.

Even “Minecraft,” which Microsoft owns and publishes on each platform — from the Xbox One to the iPhone to Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Nintendo’s Switch — can’t be performed throughout the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Like “Fortnite,” “Minecraft” might be performed between gamers on PC and Mac, and PC and Xbox. “Minecraft” may even be performed cross-network between Xbox One and Nintendo Switch in an upcoming replace. But the PlayStation 4 stands alone — Sony refuses to permit the Game to talk to different platforms.


As you would possibly count on, Microsoft blames Sony for the ongoing lack of cross-network play between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games. The firm offered the following assertion to Kotaku this week:

“Microsoft has long been a leading voice in encouraging the adoption of cross-platform play and the potential of connecting players across PC, mobile and all consoles. We’ve worked closely with Nintendo to allow cross-network play between Xbox One and Switch and our offer to do the same with PlayStation players still holds.”

That was simply the newest volley from Microsoft in its ongoing push towards cross-network play.

The actuality, in fact, is more complicated: The means Microsoft accomplishes cross-network play is by placing a type of Xbox Live into different platforms. And Sony, logically, would not need that — it operates PlayStation Network, and would not need to cede management of its gamers to the competitors.

AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh

With over 70 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the wild, and Microsoft’s Xbox One in a distant second place (estimates put the console at wherever from 30 to 60 million offered), Sony is definitely ready to say no.

Though PlayStation 4 owners will surely profit from having the ability to play with associates on the Xbox One, Microsoft would clearly profit the most from the association: Anyone on PlayStation 4 (or Switch, or wherever else) who desires to play games with associates on Xbox One has to enroll for an Xbox Live login.

Xbox chief Phil Spencer defined this in an interview with Giant Bomb final summer season:

“We use Xbox Live as the way to make sure we know who our players are, controls around parental controls and other things that we put into our platform are there. And as you’re buying things in ‘Minecraft,’ you want to make sure you have them available on other platforms, so we have to know who you are. If you have a realm that you’ve created on the PC and you want to get to it on the Switch, we have to have an identity system and we just use Xbox Live.”

It’s a wise resolution. Xbox Live is extensively considered the gold normal in on-line gaming networks. It set the authentic normal for what a Game console’s on-line service might be, and it continues to be a powerhouse.

But in the event you’re Sony, which operates the additionally wonderful PlayStation Network, it makes a whole lot of sense why you would not need Xbox Live on PlayStation 4: It’s a risk.

Long-term, having PlayStation 4 owners join for Xbox Live would possibly sway them to Microsoft’s platform — and that is an actual downside. Microsoft is making an ecosystem play, betting that you will use its ecosystem (Xbox Live) in perpetuity in the event you’re locked in now. It’s the place your Game library is, and your mates are! It works throughout platforms, even! Why hassle getting the rest?

Microsoft’s ongoing “Play Anywhere” push is a straightforward promote to shoppers: Your games, wherever you might be, on no matter gadget you personal.


Of course, in the event you’re a standard one that desires to play games with your mates on no matter Game console they personal, all of that is not your downside. It’s completely cheap to surprise, “Why cannot I play games with my associates, on no matter console they personal, interval?”

In this manner, Microsoft comes out wanting like the “good guy” as a result of it’s pushing for cross-network play. “Me 2,” Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said on Twitter in response the assertion, “We really want cross-play system between XB1 and PS4.”

That Microsoft would accomplish this purpose by layering Xbox Live on high of the competitors’s on-line providers is sensible, but it is smart why Sony would not need to let that occur. Unfortunately, as the two firms kind it out, you continue to cannot play “Fortnite” with associates on Xbox One in the event you’re taking part in on the PlayStation 4.

That’s dangerous for gamers and it’s dangerous for enterprise.

As “Overwatch” director Jeff Kaplan informed Business Insider final 12 months, “We’re very respectful, and we understand our partners and why they’re not allowing [cross-network play] at this time. We’ll use whatever influence we have to keep reminding them: ‘Hey, this would be cool. It’s something our players really want. It’s something your players really want.”

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