Xbox One and PS4 cross-platform play talks are happening, says Microsoft

One of the advantages enjoyed by modern gaming consoles is cross-platform play — the ability for multiplayer games to intermingle players across multiple consoles.

Select games like Minecraft and Rocket League have jumped on the cross-platform train for PC, Xbox One and even the Nintendo Switch, but one company has been reluctant about go all-in, though maybe not for much longer.

Microsoft is in talks with Sony about opening cross-platform play for the PlayStation 4, according to Xbox head of marketing Aaron Greenberg in an interview with Gamereactor.

"We're talking to Sony [about cross-play], we do partner with them on Minecraft and of course we would like to enable them to be part of that; one community, to unite gamers," Greenberg said. 

While the PS4 allows cross-play with PC players for Street Fighter V and Rocket League, the tech giant has thus far blocked opportunities for its games to play with other consoles like the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

One game, multiple platforms

Greenberg's Minecraft comment refers to Sony's noticeable absence from the brick-building phenomenon's recently announced "Better Together" update, which unites the Microsoft-owned property across Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile and VR.

While Sony has yet to confirm if this exclusion was due to technical, logistical or business reasons (or just to spite Microsoft), we do know that Sony has historically been the more hesitant half of an Xbox One/PS4 cross-play deal.

Early last year, Rocket League developer Psyonix revealed that it had figured out all the technical work needed to bridge the two platforms and just needed the go-ahed from Sony and Microsoft to flip the switch. 

Microsoft seemed open to the idea, having enthusiastically shown support for cross-play between Rocket League players on PC and Xbox One, while Sony's response wasn't a hard 'no,' but still felt on the cooler side.

There's no telling how successful any talks to open Sony up to Minecraft cross-platform play will be, let alone extending that to third-party titles like Rocket League, Overwatch or Call of Duty, but we have fingers crossed that the two gaming giants will one day learn to play nice together.

Parker Wilhelm
Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about Persona 4.