Xbox Exec Phil Spencer has weighed in on Sony’s fairly poor excuse for not supporting cross-network play for Minecraft claiming that it’ll do more harm than good, but Sony might have a pretty good excuse after all.
Soon after Microsoft announced that Minecraft would support cross-network play across all platforms (all but the PlayStation 4), Eurogamer released a statement they’d received from Sony which just left fans even more annoyed than before.
Now, Xbox’s Phil Spencer has weighed in on the issue. Speaking with Giant Bomb, Spencer said:
“The fact that somebody would make an assertion that somehow we’re not keeping Minecraft players safe … I found, not only from a Microsoft perspective but an industry perspective, I don’t know why that has to become the dialogue.
“That doesn’t seem healthy for anyone. We can always do better with anything we do. I find the whole discussion around safety with our game and that somehow we wouldn’t take that as a top priority … and frankly, through our parental controls on Xbox Live and everything else that we’ve done, shown that that’s incredible important to us as a platform.”
Now, many may be thinking right now that Xbox is the good guy here, especially when it comes to essentially unifying a game across all platforms only to be blocked by Sony. However, Sony might have a point after all as in the very same interview, Spencer revealed that Cross Network Play in Minecraft requires all players to sign in to Xbox Live.
Yep, it’s Games for Windows Live all over again.
It makes sense, as Xbox Live is Microsoft’s “gaming social network” and Minecraft is essentially now a Microsoft game. But now it puts into perspective Sony’s reservation to support Cross Network Play.
That being said, Rocket League’s cross-network play with Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch doesn’t require players to all sign into Xbox Live, however there’s currently no word from Sony as to whether they’ll be supporting this in the future (Jim Ryan’s comments seemed to be solely geared towards Minecraft, not Rocket League).
While it’s still a bitter deal for players, I can now see Sony’s point, but I also agree with Spencer that it’s not a good deal for anyone.