I’m going to come out and say, I’m a hard-core Sony fanboy. Don’t get me wrong, I have a high respect for Xbox exclusives like Halo, Gears and Forza to the point that I go to a friends and play them whenever they come out, but for me, I would be picking up the latest Sony console faster then Nintendo and Microsoft.
That for me, is about to change thanks to the news this E3.
Two pieces actually, both involving what I feel as complete bull$#!% statements from Sony reps who have come out and completely $#!% on the idea of what their fans want. This involves Backwards Compatibility and Cross-Platform Play.
So lets recap for everyone not familiar to some Pre-E3 action.
It all started when PlayStation Europe boss Jim Ryan had an interview with Time when the question of Backwards Compatibility was mentioned. “When we’ve dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much,” Ryan responded. “That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?”
The answer to this was given at the Microsoft E3 Presentation when Microsoft announced that Original Xbox Titles will be available on Backwards Compatibility, and you won’t need to buy it again if you have the disc, much like their current setup for Xbox 360 titles on Xbox One.
As video evidence of the show of support, lets take a look at this:
Hear the crowd? Hear the applause? Here the crowd of people who want to dive back into their library of classic Xbox titles? Not to mention the Twitch chat that was going nuts when it was announced on the official page? These are the people who want backward compatibility and Sony just can’t seem to wrap their minds around it because “they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?”
With a company as grand as Sony who features some amazing classics, this is a horrible way of thinking. Microsoft has handled Backwards Compatibility perfectly in a sense that I don’t have to buy the game again, unlike the PS2 classics which have placed games I already own in a $19.99 to $30 CDN price range in order for me to enjoy them on PS4. Playstation 3 titles can be played on PS4 via Playstation Now, a streaming service that is rather costly and doesn’t give any bonuses such as the ability to stream directly from the console or use the share function in anyway.
Then we have Cross-Play.
Cross-play has been a major conversation piece since Rocket League was ported over to the Xbox One, in which Psyonix stated they could link the three platforms (PC, PS4, Xbox One) a feature that would be amazing given the fact that the consoles could already sync up to the play against PC Players anyways. Microsoft was ready to jump at the idea but Sony remained hesitant. Many of us believed it wouldn’t be long until we had an answer but after months of waiting Psyonix pointed the fingers to Sony for the delay, after all, Psyonix told Polygon that cross-network play in Rocket League “would be up and running in less than an hour all over the world” if Sony were to give the go-ahead.
Then we had the big announcement this weekend, Minecraft and Rocket League will be Cross-Platform allowing players on Xbox, PC and The Nintendo Switch to join up in Multiplayer. As you can see, Sony is absent here.
The reasoning that this still hasn’t been done was given by Jim Ryan once again, who said in an interview with Eurogamer, “We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe. Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it’s something we have to think about very carefully.”
This statement has sparked a response from Xbox head Phil Spencer. “The fact that somebody would kind of make an assertion that somehow we’re not keeping Minecraft players safe, I found — not only from a Microsoft perspective, but from a game industry perspective — like, I don’t know why that has to become the dialogue. Like, that doesn’t seem healthy for anyone.” Spencer said in an interview with Giant Bomb during one of their live-streams. “We take the safety of Xbox Live, of our players across all of our games — inside of Minecraft, obviously an incredibly important part of that — it’s incredibly important to our team. We would never put Minecraft in a place where we felt like we weren’t keeping our players safe.”
While it’s understandable that Sony wants to ensure the security of their customers, it almost seems that discussions on this feature which people who play Minecraft and Rocket League want. A Unified network that allows everyone to enjoy a game regardless of console they chose. We know it’s possible and if Nintendo, a company that is almost overprotective of its users when it comes to online play, is up for the idea, then what is really holding Sony back?
It’s important that Sony realizes that fans do want these features, backwards compatibility and cross-platform play has been proven by their competitor and they need to step up their game. Let’s be honest, I’m about to jump ship just so I can get my hands back on some Xbox Originals and that Xbox One X is looking really pretty now.