So before I even start with this conversation/ blog, let me state that I own a PS4. I love my PS4. It is my baby. I’ve mainly only owned Sony and Nintendo consoles. Before someone call me a fanboy, let me state that my main reason for owning Sony consoles is because of my taste in games. If you know me personally, you know that there’s one main genre of games I like and it starts with J and ends with RPG. When I was sixteen I owned an Xbox360, but that was mainly because it had Infinite Undiscovery and Tales of Vesperia, but after playing those games I realized that I didn’t like Halo/ shooters and other games the 360 had to offer. When I got a PS3 the next year, my life was Tales games and other Playstation exclusive JRPGs. Essentially I only get Sony consoles because I like JRPGs and Microsoft doesn’t do well in Japan. I get Nintendo consoles because I like Pokemon, Mario Kart, Legend of Zelda, and Super Smash Brothers (notice how I did not really mention Super Mario). What I’m trying to say is that I’m approaching this article in a fair and objective way though I may have brand alliances, and that those brand alliances aren’t out of blind faith.
Now if you’re tired of reading this article after that long introduction to me and my perspective on gaming consoles, here’s the TL;DR: Though I love Sony most days, I think it’s stupid of them to not allow cross platform gaming (even though that may be just a temporary decision), but I can understand (not from Jim Ryan’s explanation, because that was just some bullshit, but from Sony’s past experience and ethical thinking).
So essentially Sony has chosen, for now, to opt out of cross platform online gaming, and though that’s been the thing for a few months now, the topic was put back into the spotlight when at E3 it was noted that Minecraft will be online cross platform between PC, Xbox One/ One X (Woo that name is so fucking dumb. Just imagine if the Playstation 4 Pro went by P4PX or the Nintendo Switch was called the Nintendo X Nintendo. They should have gone with Scorpio.), and the Nintendo Switch. Some are calling Sony bad guys. Some are saying that Sony is back to being cocky and arrogant and that this will lead to their downfall. There’s a lot of vitriol being thrown at Sony and any defenses being made for the company are being slung aside as mere excuses or are simply being ignored. When I first saw that Sony was opting out, for now (please understand that Sony isn’t saying they’ll never do it), on such a groundbreaking and unifying premise, I wanted to know why. The reasoning was lame though. Essentially Phil Ryan goes, “Think of the children,” which is kind of lame. I found the response of opting out, for now, even more puzzling when I remembered that Sony had offered cross platform to Microsoft in the previous console generation. And there’s also the point that Sony already cross platforms with PC in certain games.
Now that I’ve had time to think about why Sony would refuse such an offer, for now, I’ve essentially made reasons for it outside of the usual impressive sales angle people have been flinging around (and though that is probably the reason, the hope is that it isn’t because you have to hope that Sony actually cares for its clientele).
1) Sony Servers have suffered quite a bit in past experience—I mean Sony servers have been hacked at least twice (I remember hacked servers being the reason I got Infamous for free on PS3). If anything Sony is reluctant to allow other console servers mingling with theirs, not because they’re afraid of malicious intent, but just because they’ve been burned quite a bit before.
2) Sony would probably have to improve their servers and don’t believe they’re quite up to snuff yet—This is the angle I believe the most right now, because if Microsoft is good at anything it’s at having good internet services. Sony might not feel confident at being able to keep up, which I understand. Though I feel more sorry for Nintendo because, jeez, they have a lot of network errors.
3) The system of grievances—Though Sony can deal with their own users when crossing a line, what becomes of the situation where Sony users are harassed or cyber bullied by users from other systems? Do they entrust warnings to Microsoft/ Nintendo or do they try to place matters into their own hands? Is that crossing the line? What is the best available situation and have any of the companies thought of it yet?
And though I’ve come up with these reasons, these are merely speculation. The problem at root is that Sony representatives aren’t being open with their actual reasoning. Though they might believe their reasoning is good, we as consumers can see the bullshit that they’re spewing, and it’s better to have the true reasoning out in the open so that consumers can understand and also because it might help other companies understand all of the issues that may arise in the transition to cross platform gaming. So what’s my stake in this, you might ask? I’m simply a guy that plays single player JRPGs on his PS4, and plays Mario Kart 8 Deluxe online on his Nintendo Switch. Though I occasionally play online on my PS4, this situation doesn’t affect me at all, but at the same time, if we’re transitioning to a time where people can garner a community with each other regardless of their brand choices, if we are to unify regardless of our differences, cross platforming is the way to go. Hopefully Sony will figure out the issues that might be at hand, and eventually opt in, so that they can live up to their motto, “For the players.”
Though this has nothing to do with any of the above content, I leave you with the song from the E3 Super Mario Odyssey trailer. It’s really catchy. Later days.