Last night Microsoft announced it was bringing crossplay functionality to Minecraft, allowing gamers to play together and use their DLC purchases and save files across a multitude of different platforms.No longer will Minecraft be separated into various 'Editions', Microsoft said. Starting this summer, Minecraft will simply be known as Minecraft.
However, there was one platformer holder that was curiously absent from Microsoft's line-up of supported formats - PlayStation. While Xbox One, Switch, Windows 10, VR and mobile players will all be able to enjoy jumping into each other's worlds regardless of which platform they're using, PlayStation users won't be able to participate in any of these new features.
We've reached out to Sony for comment, and will update this story once we hear back. According to Venturebeat, however, it sounds like the decision to join the initiative lay with Sony rather than Microsoft:
We can't speak for Sony. But as we said, we would love to have our PlayStation 4 community join our Minecraft unification plans,” saidMinecraft communications boss Aubrey Norris.
This will no doubt come as a disappointment for PlayStation Minecraft fans, but Sony may have good reason in wanting to keep the game separate. While the title hasn't been performing as well as the Xbox One Edition at UK retail recently, regularly charting around ten places lower at No.38 in the UK Top 40, the game has a much stronger digital presence that Sony may want to captilise on.
In 2016, for instance, Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition was the third most-downloaded PS4 title on the PlayStation Store (behind Battlefield 1 and Rocket League), and Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition was the top download for the PS3, beating both The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V.
If Sony added crossplay into the mix, it's possible players might drift more toward mobile, or even the Nintendo Switch, to make their DLC purchases, potentially leaving Sony out of pocket if a user's main game experience is no longer confined to the living room.
There's also the small matter of players potentially gallivanting around with Master Chief skin packs in a friend's PS4 game, which might be a step too far for the staunch platform rivals.
Whatever Sony's reasoning is, though, it seems like a bad deal for PlayStation owners, who will have to wait even longer to play with their friends on different platforms.