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Microsoft and Sony are collaborating to make the PS4 and Xbox One compatible for ‘Minecraft’

If you own a PlayStation 4 game that’s also on the Xbox One, like
“Overwatch” for instance, there’s no way to play it with your
friends across platforms. The game is more or less identical on
each console, and it’s an online multiplayer game.
You should be able to play it with whoever, on
whatever platform they’re playing it on, but you can’t.

You might be thinking to yourself, “Yes, and it’s always been
that way.” And you’d be right! But just because it’s always been
that way doesn’t make it logical. Microsoft is
attempting to change that standard by making the massively
popular “Minecraft” playable with friends across platforms.


minecraft nintendo switch
“Minecraft” got a major update on Wednesday known as
the “Better Together” update. It unifies all platforms of
“Minecraft,” with the exception of Nintendo Switch (coming this
winter) and PlayStation 4.

Nintendo

And Microsoft is succeeding, sort of. With its “Better Together”
update,
announced earlier this year
and now live, “Minecraft” can be
played with friends who are on mobile devices, Xbox One, PC, and
even VR headsets like Samsung’s Gear VR and Facebook’s Oculus
Rift. 

Notably, two major platforms are missing from that list: Nintendo
Switch and PlayStation 4. 

Incredibly, “Minecraft” on Nintendo Switch will actually be added
to this list “by the end of the year,” Microsoft’s “Minecraft”
lead Matt Booty told us in an interview this week. PlayStation 4
is less certain, but Microsoft is actually working with Sony on
making it happen.

“Sony is a good partner, and they are working with us on this,”
Booty said.

That’s a pretty major change from what we heard earlier this
year.

“You should probably ask them,” Xbox leader Phil Spencer
said in an interview with Business Insider in June
, when
asked about why the PlayStation 4 version doesn’t work with other
platforms. He added, “I don’t mean that to be snippy. We’ve shown
our intent on what we want to go do. And I’d love for ‘Minecraft’
players to get to play ‘Minecraft.'” 


MinecraftMicrosoft

It sounds like, since June, Microsoft and Sony are discussing
making that happen.

“I know that Sony has taken some heat in the press, and they are
working with us on this,” Booty said. “I feel good that we’re
gonna work this out. If we all take the angle that we should do
what’s best for players, that guiding principle will lead us
to the right decision and we’ll work it out.”

Of course, just because “Minecraft” is able to play nice across
platforms doesn’t mean that, say, “Overwatch” is going to
suddenly work across platforms. Booty sees “Minecraft” as helping
to build a foundation for future collaboration.

“The way these things work is that somebody always has to go
first,” he said. “It helps to work out the specifics with a
particular game and figure that out.”

In this case, “Minecraft” is being used as the first attempt to
bridge Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players. In a few years, you
could be playing games like “Call of Duty” or “Battlefield” with
your friends on whatever platform they’re playing the game
on. 

In the meantime, Microsoft and Sony are at least working on that
functionality. The major hurdle of two competing companies simply
getting together and discussing how to make such a thing work has
already been overcome. Now, it’s just a measure of working out
logistics.


Xbox vs PlaystationChristian Petersen/Getty
Images

“Those consoles need to understand how to respect each other’s
settings,” Booty said. “It’s just a matter of figuring out
how to make that work. We want to be really careful that we don’t
just open this and get into a situation, particularly with
‘Minecraft,’ where we’re not respecting all the parental
controls.”

There’s no word on when cross-play between Xbox One and
PlayStation 4 is coming to “Minecraft” — there isn’t even a
guarantee that it’s going to happen — but Booty’s openness about
the process and his passion for making it happen provide some
hope:

“We think that ‘Minecraft’ — given its deeply cross-platform
nature and the wide range of devices where it’s played
— is a great opportunity to figure this out. We’re probably gonna
hit some roadblocks along the way, but if we stick to what’s good
for the player, hopefully we can fix the platform challenges.”

“Hopefully” is right.

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