At the Microsoft E3 2017 press conference, the company announced an upcoming Minecraft cross-platform update. The update would allow Minecraft players on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, VR, and mobile devices to play together, but suspiciously absent from the supporting platforms list were any PlayStation consoles.
According to a tweet from Windows Central reporter Jez Corden, this is because PlayStation platform-holder Sony “refused” to join in on the cross-platform fun. Sony has yet to officially comment on the matter but Corden elaborated and explained that “Microsoft said it’s there hope for all modern versions to connect to each other.” Microsoft has since released a statement to GamesBeat saying that it would “love” to have Sony be part of it.
With Sony keeping quiet, it’s unclear exactly why the company chose not to be part of the update. Though some may speculate that it’s because Microsoft owns Minecraft. Some have also suggested that Sony wants to force Minecraft players on other platforms to purchase the game again on PS4 if they want to play with their PS4 friends, rather than getting to play altogether as default. Or, it could just come down to a petty brand rivalry.
Dunno, Microsoft said it's their hope for all modern versions to connect to eachother. But I got separate info that Sony refused.
— Jez @ E3 (@JezCorden) June 12, 2017
Whatever the reason for it is though, it’s understandable that many will feel disappointed by Sony’s (rumored) decision. In addition to cross-platform play, the Minecraft update also ensures that every platform is running the same version of the game, with the same gameplay features and items. It could mean that in future, PlayStation players of Minecraft are the last to get new goodies as all of those platforms that opted into the Better Together update go to the front of the queue.
In fact, the PlayStation has already missed out on one highly publicized free update: the Minecraft Super Duper Graphics pack. Minecraft developer Mojang has explained that the Super Duper Graphics pack, which offers a free, optional 4K makeover for the game, is only available to platforms included in the Better Together update. Ergo PlayStation will not be getting it when it launches later this year.
The upgraded graphics DLC could be the first of many bits of free content that PlayStation Minecraft players miss out on and it’s difficult to imagine that they will remain silent or that they’ll continue to play the game on the Sony-held platform. Perhaps this will cause the company to change its mind, but for now things aren’t looking good.