We're entering into a golden age of online gaming that was once only dreamed about. As more and more developers work together, an increasing number of games now feature online cross-play between numerous platforms, including Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and mobile. Sony, however, has been much more hesitant to join in on the fun.
When I boot up Rocket League on my Switch, I can team up with or battle against friends on Xbox One, but not PlayStation 4. The same will soon be true of Minecraft when its cross-play patch launches. Fortnite presents an even more frustrating situation, as players have discovered that Sony is preventing the transfer of (third-party) accounts from PlayStation 4 to Switch. In other words, if you made an Epic Games online account for Fortnite and played at all on PlayStation 4, you have to start from scratch if you want to play on Switch. You can't use the same account.
Why is Sony doing this? What's their motivation for refusing to join the greater online community? According to a former President at the company, it's all about the money. In a since-deleted tweet, John Smedley, former president of Sony Online Entertainment said the following:
"When I was at Sony, the stated reason internally for this was money. They didn't like someone buying something on an Xbox and it being used on a PlayStation. simple as that. dumb reason, but there it is." — John Smedley
Smedley went on to say that this attitude could potentially change with enough pressure. Fans have certainly been vocal about the subject, but up until this point all Sony has offered is a non-apologetic statement about how they are always listening to their fans.