In a much-shared tweet, games media personality and noted PlayStation fan Greg Miller said Sony's strategy seems designed to keep people with PlayStation, but effectively does the opposite.
At E3, Fairfax Media asked Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe’s chief operating officer, Simon Rutter, about the philosophy behind locking third party accounts to PlayStation, or blocking cross-play in general, but he declined to comment on the matter specifically.
Sony subsequently issued a statement to the BBC, which says in part: "With 79 million PS4s sold around the world and more than 80 million monthly active users on PlayStation Network, we’ve built a huge community of gamers who can play together on Fortnite and all online titles.
"We also offer Fortnite cross-play support with PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, expanding the opportunity for Fortnite fans on PS4 to play with even more gamers on other platforms."
Nintendo of America COO Reggie Fils-Aime made some pointed comments on the issue, as reported by IGN, without specifically referring to PlayStation.
"What competitors do is their decision to make. We believe being both developer-forward and fan-forward is in the best interest of the game," he said.
With Nintendo seemingly putting its money where its mouth is with the new trailer for Minecraft, which again can be played across all devices except when it comes to PlayStation players connecting with Xbox or Switch, the pressure on Sony to rethink its strategy only grows.
With millions more PlayStation 4 consoles sold than Xbox Ones — and with Switch arguably not a direct competitor to either machine — Sony is in a winning position and doesn't necessarily need to change its tune in order to win fans.
But its current position on PS4 cross-play and third party accounts is a bad look, especially for a system that became popular in the first place by openly rejecting Microsoft's (since reversed) anti-consumer platform restrictions.
Tim is the editor of Fairfax's technology sections.
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