Sony exec offers an answer for PS4's absence from Minecraft cross-platform play
"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."
- Sony exec Jim Ryan, explaining to Eurogamer why some PlayStation 4 games don't support full cross-platform play.
Today a Sony exec offered an explanation for why the PS4 is absent from some recent announcements of online games adding cross-platform play, citing a "responsibility to our install base."
This is somewhat notable in light of the fact that developers on both Minecraft and Rocket League announced expanded cross-platform play features at E3 this week, and the list of supported platforms includes the Xbox One, PC, Nintendo's Switch.
However, in neither case can people who own the PlayStation 4 version of a game play with people who own an Xbox One copy, even though a Minecraft representative publicly stated the game's dev team would prefer it if Minecraft players on PlayStation 4 could play with everyone else.
When Eurogamer recently asked PlayStation head of global marketing and sales Jim Ryan why this was the case, he responded by citing a desire to control the experience of Minecraft players online.
"Minecraft - the demographic playing that, you know as well as I do, it's all ages but it's also very young," Ryan said. "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."
He went on to say that nothing is a ever a "done deal" but that there were currently no ongoing conversations within Sony about opening the aforementioned games up to full cross-platform play.
Update: Representatives from Rocket League dev Psyonix have since made it clear they would also prefer to see PS4 players allowed to play online with players on other platforms.
"The honest answer is PlayStation has not yet granted us permission,” Psyonix's Jeremy Dunham told Polygon. “We are hopeful that being able to play cross network is still something we can go for...the only thing that we know is that we can’t do it yet. I can tell you this: From Psyonix, we would do whatever we would need to do to make it possible to be cross-network play with all the other platforms and PlayStation 4. They just need to tell us what that is."