One of the more surprising things to emerge from E3 was Nintendo’s inclusion in a new drive towards crossplatform multiplayer.
Switch owners will be able to play alongside gamers on Xbox and PC in Minecraft and Rocket League. This sets Nintendo apart from Sony, which has so far blocked such moves for PS4.
I’m really happy just as a gamer, let alone working for the company, that that’s going to be possible, that crossplatform play,” Nintendo of America corporate communications director Charlie Scibetta toldVentureBeat.
We’re trying to be more flexible as a company. We’re reaching out to try and get people to interact with our IP. In this case Rocket League is their IP on our system, but we’re trying to get people involved with us in any way we can. It’s just being flexible and working with them to make their game come to life on our system.
If people want to play cross platform, we want to enable that. If it’s right for gamers, we’re going to entertain it. If we can make it work, we’re going to do it.”
Scibetta added that Nintendo would be willing to support any developer that wished to integrate crossplatform play into future Switch titles.
The stance is very different to Sony’s, which has decided to skip the crossplatform party.
Unfortunately it’s a commercial discussion between ourselves and other stakeholders, and I’m not going to get into the detail of that on this particular instance,”PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan said last week. We’ve got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base.
Minecraft – the demographic playing that, you know as well as I do, it’s all ages but it’s also very young. 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.”
This was an implication that was not well received by Microsoft,with Xbox boss Phil Spencer responding: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 from a game industry perspective… I don’t know why that has to become the dialogue. That doesn’t seem healthy for anyone.”