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Sony explains why it blocked PS4 cross-play with Xbox One and Switch

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Sony has moved to defend its decision to block PlayStation 4 cross-platform functionality with the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch for Minecraft and Rocket League.

Speaking during an interview with Eurogamer, Sony’s Global Head of Marketing & Sales, Jim Ryan, explained the hardware manufacturer has a “responsibility to our install base,” and that potentially exposing children—which Ryan sees is the primary demographic for Minecraft—to external influences is something that is a big issue for Sony.

“It’s certainly not a profound philosophical stance we have against this. We’ve done it in the past. We’re always open to conversations with any developer or publisher who wants to talk about it. 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,” Ryan.

We’ve got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base. Minecraft – the demographic playing that, you know as well as I do, it’s all ages but it’s also very young. We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe. Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it’s something we have to think about very carefully.”

Does this mean that Sony has ruled out the possibility of PS4 cross-platform play entirely? Not exactly, but Ryan made it clear you shouldn’t hold your breath. 

I don’t think anything is ever a done deal. Anybody who is dogmatic in that manner is typically a fool. That said, to my knowledge, there is no live conversation ongoing at the moment.

Microsoft announced plans for Minecraft cross-platform play during its E3 2017 press conference, although PS4 was conspicuously absent in the list of compatible platforms for the game’s online play. Similarly, Nintendo confirmed this week that Rocket League is coming to the Switch, and will offer cross-play with Xbox One and PC, but not PS4.