A couple of days ago Microsoft (for the first time, I must add) showed willingness to work with Sony for cross-network play between the PlayStation Network on PS4 and the Xbox Live on Xbox One. However, it is still unclear whether Sony reciprocates the plans.
They did respond yesterday by mentioning their open policy towards other platforms by naming PC for one, but brought in publishers and developers related issues by adding that they would be “happy to have a conversation” with them. Note that they did not even mention Microsoft.
However, at that time it was speculated that since they have always been open about this, there seems to be no reason for Sony to back out now.
Yet, the most recent (and more direct) remarks passed on the idea of cross-network play between PSN and Xbox Live by Shuhei Yoshida make me seriously consider the possibility that Sony might be dodging this one.
The President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios was at GDC 2016 where he once again tried to ward off the question by simply ending it with their willingness to talk to the developers and publishers and by adding that “it is nothing new” for them because they have been doing it on PS3 and PC and PS4 and PC.
Pushed to talk about PS4 and Xbox One specifically, Yoshida said:
Because PC is an open platform it’s much more straightforward. Connecting two different closed networks is much more complicated so we have to work with developers and publishers to understand what it is they are trying to accomplish. We also have to look at the technical aspect – and the technical aspect could be the easiest. We also have to look at policy issues and business issues as well.
This is certainly not the clearest of answers he could have given, but from what I can see, Sony might not be willing to go running towards Microsoft here. Otherwise, they could simply have said that if the developers and publishers are okay with it we would like to work with Microsoft to bring PlayStation Network and Xbox Live closer through cross-network play.
What do you think?