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Microsoft and Nintendo just teamed up to take a powerful shot at Sony's exclusionary PlayStation 4 policy

Ben Gilbert
Microsoft and Nintendo vs Sony
  • Sony refuses to let PlayStation 4 users play games with Xbox One and Nintendo Switch users.
  • Microsoft and Nintendo are both vocally pushing for the ability to play some games across competing platforms. "Minecraft" is already able to be played across many — except for PS4.
  • Microsoft and Nintendo released a joint advertisement this week showcasing the ability to play "Minecraft" across the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
  • Though "Minecraft" is also available on PS4, and the commercial is ostensibly for "Minecraft," Sony's console is excluded from the credits.


Microsoft and Nintendo just teamed up to take a powerful shot at Sony's PlayStation 4.

Since we're talking about businesses here, that powerful shot came in the form of an advertisement — a seemingly innocuous commercial for "Minecraft" that showcases the ability to play the game across competing game consoles. In "Minecraft," players on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC/Mac, iOS and Android can play the game together.

There's just one platform missing from that: Sony's massively popular PlayStation 4. 

Of the big three game console makers — Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo — Sony is the final holdout when it comes to multiplayer gaming across competing systems. Moreover, Sony is even outright locking some game accounts to the PlayStation 4: "Fortnite" players started the #BlameSony hashtag over the past few weeks due to the revelation that, if you tie your "Fortnite" account to a PlayStation 4, you can't sign in with it anywhere else.

Thus, Microsoft and Nintendo are taking advantage of Sony's mistake, and they're going all in. Nintendo's latest commercial for "Minecraft" even features an Xbox One controller alongside a Nintendo Switch controller:

Microsoft and Nintendo vs Sony

Nintendo

That's a pretty big deal in the world of video games.

Sony and Microsoft and Nintendo are direct competitors in the video game space, and seeing two of them team up against the other to change a pillar of console gaming is more than rare — it's unprecedented. This is not a thing that happens.

For its part, Sony hasn't said much about its stance on multiplayer gaming across platforms. Some PlayStation 4 games, including "Fortnite," allow limited cross-play with PC/Mac and iOS/Android, but not the Xbox One or Nintendo Switch. And, at one point in 2017, "Fortnite" briefly supported cross-play between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players before it was turned off (Epic Games said it was a bug). 

Which is to say one thing: Cross-play is technically possible, but without Sony's support, PlayStation 4 players are left to play games mostly with other PS4 owners while Xbox One and Nintendo Switch players have a more open experience. 

Check out the full ad right here:

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SEE ALSO: 'Fortnite' players are furious at Sony for locking accounts to the PlayStation 4 — an exclusionary tactic that’s burning years of goodwill with fans