We all dream of a future where cross-console multiplayer is reality. Destiny 2 players on PS4 running raids with their friends playing on Xbox One, Tekken players competing in console-wide tournaments, Minecraft players adventuring and building fantastical worlds together, regardless of console choice... These are things that we'd love to see this generation, and Xbox boss Phil Spencer told GameStop that those types conversations are still ongoing between Xbox and PlayStation.
"We talk to Sony all the time," Spencer said earlier today at the Brazil Game Show. "With Minecraft on PlayStation, we have to be one of the biggest games on their platform in terms of sales and gameplay. Same with Nintendo. The relationship with Nintendo on this front has been strong. They've been great supporters and we continue to collaborate with them. But I think Sony's view is different. They should talk about what their view is..."
We've been at this stalemate for some time now, and we're beginning to wonder if Sony will ever play nicely. Spencer has been very vocal about Microsoft's willingness to extend a bridge for gamers on both platforms to play together, but is Sony sabotaging the effort?
"I have a real struggle making comments about their motivation or timelines. I know there is a certain view that says if my friends have this console, they can't play with people who buy another console. That's a reason they go buy my console," Spencer said. It makes good business sense, in a way, but Spencer also points out that it makes good business sense to allow gamers to play together, regardless of console.
"I think people look at [cross-play] and say is it better for gamers," he said. "If it's better for gamers, I have a hard time thinking why we shouldn't go do this, especially when you're trying to make the gaming business a bigger business; grow it, get more games, create more opportunity..."
Look, I know that this olive branch comes with some strings attached, and I don't doubt that a cross-play deal would likely benefit Microsoft in this instance more than it would benefit Sony, but this could be a huge brand play for both companies. Sony could very will justify holding out by pointing to its bottom line, but we're hoping that someone on team blue will see the bigger picture soon.