Sony exec “confident” PS4 cross-console play “solution” is coming

“We’re hearing it,” Layden said of player complaints surrounding the inability for PS4 games to play well with other consoles. “We’re looking at a lot of the possibilities. You can imagine that the circumstances around that affect a lot more than just one game. I’m confident we’ll get to a solution which will be understood and accepted by our gaming community, while at the same time supporting our business.

While Microsoft and Nintendo have openedup their online networks in recent years, Sony has consistentlyblockeddeveloper efforts to let games on the PlayStation Network interact with versions of those same games on other consoles (though many PS4 games do allow cross-platform play with PC and mobile phone versions). The issue has gained increased visibility in recent weeks as players on Nintendo Switch have discovered that playing the game on PS4 permanently locks their existing game accounts from compatibility with other consoles.

In response to that news, Sony offered a bland statement saying it is “always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming experience,” while offering little in the way of promises for solutions. Sony has previously said it has no “profound philosophical stance” against cross-console play and that it’s “happy to have the conversation” about the issue with individual developers. But Layden’s statement, vague as it is, remains the most concrete promise that Sony is looking into actually opening up its network in the future.

In a since-deleted tweet posted earlier this month, former head of Sony Online Entertainment John Smedley called out a simple profit motive as the “stated reason” behind Sony’s network protectionism. “They didn’t like someone buying something on an Xbox and it being used on a PlayStation,” Smedley wrote. “Simple as that. dumb reason, but there it is.” Smedley added later that he believes “if we keep the pressure up this problem goes away.”

That pressure may be starting to have an effect. Weeks after ‘s Switch release, the replies to every single unrelated tweet from the official PlayStation account are still dominated by messages like this one asking for “a better cross-platform policy so I can play my Account on the Switch!” At some point, Sony may get tired of the conversation about its consoles and games getting constantly derailed by this one persistent issue.

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Kyle Orland Kyle is the Senior Gaming Editor at Ars Technica, specializing in video game hardware and software. He has journalism and computer science degrees from University of Maryland. He is based in the Washington, DC area.
Email[email protected]//Twitter@KyleOrl
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