Sony's summer of anti-Cross Play rhetoric continues to tarnish the PlayStation's hard-fought and well-deserved reputation this console generation.
In the wake of an arguably disastrous Xbox One unveiling and poor Wii U console sales, Sony's PlayStation 4 has seemingly made every gamer-beneficial decision while avoiding relatively hindering public and commercial missteps, until now.
As Microsoft and Nintendo continue to promote their support of Cross Play technology for their respective consoles this summer, Sony has been staunchly opposed to participating in a campaign of uniformity.
Perhaps, driven by their market dominance, Sony has chosen to sit out the Cross Play talks for some of the biggest titles being played on various consoles such as cultural phenomenon Fortnite and while the company may have hoped to wait out gamer frustrations for lack of support for the battle royale fad, it's now being hit by complaints from executive game developers such as Bethesda's Todd Howard, in charge of upcoming Fallout 76.
When asked by German publication GameStar.de about the potential for Fallout 76 Cross Play, Howard did away with corporate nuance and directly called out Sony's unwillingness to aid developers.
“You cannot do cross-play in 76. We’d really love that but right now we can’t. Sony is not as helpful as everyone would like.”
While Bethesda has nothing further to say about Howard's comments according to Polygon, the sentiment seems to be targeted at Sony's current gaming strategy as the company has yet to make a move on its potential Minecraft or Fortnite Cross Play efforts, citing that security concerns have held back Minecraft CP development and that the company will come up with a different solution its gamers will accept.
“We’re looking at a lot of the possibilities. You can imagine that the circumstances around that affect a lot more than just one game. I’m confident we’ll get to a solution which will be understood and accepted by our gaming community, while at the same time supporting our business.”
Sony is in a tough spot as Cross Play is tied to more than just pure gaming entertainment for the company, a lot of factors such as in-game purchasing, security, and licensing would all impact the platform.
On the plus side, Sony's attempt to wait out the bad press and fevered angst from the very vocal gamer minority could be just the windows of opportunity for Nintendo and Microsoft to use some press and earn not only some goodwill with developers but sell a few more consoles this summer and lock in some fans for future releases.