The need for cross-play between different gaming platforms has become ever important these days. Popular games like Rocket League and Fortnite rely heavily on this feature in order to provide players with enjoyable experiences. While both Nintendo and Microsoft have come out in support of cross-play, Sony has made its stance very clear. The creators of the PS4 remain adamant on preventing players from enjoying multiplayer games with owners of competing systems.
Sony continues to ostracize their players despite call-outs from their own fan base, Microsoft, and Nintendo. The company has stated multiple explanations for this, like regulating a safe community for players and producing higher profits. Regardless, Sony could and should promote cross-play on its system for multiple reasons
Why Sony Should Enable Cross-Play
We all know that there are no technical limitations preventing Sony from allowing cross-play on the PS4. This was clearly seen a while back when Epic Games accidentally enabled the feature on Fortnite, where PS4, Xbox, and PC players were briefly able to play together. Therefore, Sony has no excuses and has much to gain from promoting cross-play.
First off, and this should be obvious, Sony would gain great PR from deciding to join the cross-play bandwagon. All the negative publicity from this issue not only hurts PS4 sales, but also aids the competition. In the wake of Sony’s cross-play mess, Microsoft and Nintendo were able to take advantage of the situation by promoting their own pro-cross-play campaign with Minecraft. Now wouldn’t it look great if the three pillars of the gaming industry suddenly united to become a cross-play family?
Second, by enabling cross-play, Sony would encourage both game sales and game longevity, which would ultimately attract more publishers and developers who notice this increase. If you could play Overwatch with your Xbox friends without having to cough up $300+, wouldn’t that make you want to buy and play the game longer on your PS4? Now imagine you’re a developer that sees this increase. Surely you would want your game to see the same growth, causing you to include the PS4 on your list of supported platforms. This would just mean more business for Sony, which makes its attitude towards cross-play even more depressing.
Why Sony Probably Won’t Enable Crossplay
Unfortunately for gamers, Sony, like many gaming companies, isn’t solely in it for the games. They must make some profit from anything they do, which is understandable—we’ve all got to eat somehow. This likely explains Sony’s cross-play restriction. The company logically saw an opportunity to generate more revenue and took it. Combine that with Sony’s top position in the industry over the past few years, and that just leads to a closed-minded perspective on cross-play.
Sony has surely realized that disabling cross-play can not only increase console sales but can also hurt their competition. If you wanted to play games like Rocket League with your friends who own PS4 consoles, then you would certainly cash in for that rather than, say, the Xbox One. This creates more sales for Sony while simultaneously stealing potential business from Microsoft, which probably makes Sony incredibly happy.
Once a player buys that PS4 and starts playing it, that’s when Sony really starts seeing the money. Any in-game purchases made while playing on the PS4 allows Sony to gain a small portion of the earnings. Because of this, it would make sense from a business standpoint to prevent players from buying anything within the game on other platforms. Every time a player decides to use their game accounts on another system and buy in-game items means less money seen by other systems. Sony probably figured this out early on and thus prevented cross-play on the PS4.
What Does the Future Hold?
With the gaming industry becoming an increasingly joined community, it’s disappointing to see Sony on the negative side of disputes like cross-play. Whether they decide to allow cross-play on the PS4 remains to be seen. Hopefully with all the outcry created by both gamers and gaming companies, Sony will eventually make the much-appreciated gesture of allowing everyone to play together.
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