Sony has become a bit of a standout in the industry, with a new display of hostility towards developers bringing fresh outrage…
Sony has a history of pro-consumerism. The PS4 is built upon this logic. Just like I have noted in the past however, it’s not holding up. It only took a few years to break down into hostility.
Cross Platform What?
Hop back to E3 2017 for a moment.
Unfortunately it’s a commercial discussion between ourselves and other stakeholders, and I’m not going to get into the detail of that on this particular instance. And I can see your eyes rolling.
We’ve got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base
Everybody has to take their own decisions. We’ll do that. Like I say, we have no philosophical stance against cross-play at all.
That said, to my knowledge, there is no live conversation ongoing at the moment.
Source (Seriously read it all, it is pure gold!)
This is how Sony’s Jim Ryan responded to Eurogamer about not allowing cross-platform play with other consoles in both Rocket League and Minecraft. No one consistent answer was given.
Yeah this isn’t a good look but wait, there is now more.
This was based, we assumed, on fear, and wanting to keep their install base. A company that built a base on pro-consumer moves in the wake of the Xbox One now does the things they said they wouldn’t.
Now however, we see what it is truly based on.
Sony Is Acting on Pure Hostility
Fortnite just released on the Nintendo Switch! This would be great news. Turns out, if your Epic Games account has ever touched a PS4, that account can now never be used on Xbox One or Nintendo Switch. No, deleting the link doesn’t work. Once it’s been there, it’s locked away forever.
The same is true in reverse. If you link an account to Switch or Xbox, it won’t work on PS4. This is a huge problem, as Fortnite links progress to your Epic account, which we should stress is a third-party account.
Many PS4 users have found this to be an issue, wanting to play on Switch. This has gone beyond simply not allowing play between systems. This is now wrestling a third-party account and wanting you to only play on PS4.
This is hostility towards other systems. They want to be the only place you ever play games, and they are doing their damnedest to keep their users to them, by inconveniencing them going elsewhere.
It Makes Business Sense…Briefly
So the constant lies about why they don’t want cross-platform play. The newfound hostility towards the other systems. This all stinks of what we know now as “Arrogant Sony”. Remember the PS3 launch? Top of the world, can do no wrong, and it backfired. They believed consumers had no choice in who they went to, they thought they were on top of the world. Then they fell.
Now the PS4 bounces back, pro-consumer for all of what seemed like 20 minutes. Sure, they want to keep their lead, but now, what benefit is there to playing third-party games on a PS4?
On PC, you get mods. Xbox One X, you get the best console performance. Switch, you get portability. On PS4, you get tied to the system with a brick around your ankles.
Across all of the above, except PS4 of course, you can all talk, play against or with each other in games. In Fortnite, your progress even carries over. This is the future. Developers want it. Epic Games wants it. But the dinosaur that is Sony will not let it happen.
They want control. But the power is with the players now more than ever.
So What Do We Do?
Some believe the one with the largest install base has nothing to gain. But they do. In the (Increasingly likely if you pay attention) scenario where the PS5 launches and falls behind the next Xbox, these past practices will have caused people to move away. Sure, it’s fine now, but people don’t forget. Especially now the biggest game in the world is the subject.
The answer is simple, play where you want, but remember that the noise will only grow as more and more games adopt this approach. There will be a time where they have to allow it. If not, the mantra of the PlayStation falls apart at the seems.
This is more than Microsoft taking shots at Sony. This is consumers not being treated fairly, and developers not being given the freedoms they deserve.
Thanks for reading, and this is an issue that now more than ever needs to be scrutinised. Perhaps the future will change things, but Sony is in a position of power to abuse now…but anyway, go boot up Fortnite and play with whoever YOU want! Happy Gaming!