This saga regarding cross-play on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is really frustrating, isn't it? As gamers, we obviously want it to happen – but as "industry pundits" (if we can call ourselves that), the way it's being discussed is infuriating. Obviously, Sony has supported cross-platform play with the PC since the early PlayStation 2 days, and it's maintained that stance through until the current generation. Microsoft, barring one or two exceptions, has always been against the feature – until it dramatically changed its stance at GDC earlier this year, putting the ball in the Japanese giant's court regarding cross-console play.
But the way it did it was… A little crafty. In order to engineer a PR win, it didn't give Sony any forewarning, and has left the platform holder publicly scrambling to sort through the Redmond firm's policies, analyse any security issues, and determine whether it wants to support the feature in the first place. For a company supposedly "for the players", it seemingly has no choice but to get behind the initiative – but given that Microsoft's only changed its stance now that it has a significantly depleted player base, it's understandable why the upper-management at PlayStation would be reluctant to go along with it.
The problem for Sony, of course, is that developers are putting the ball in the company's court – and it needs to make a decision one way or the other. A Tekken 7 developer's the latest to drop an "ask Sony" comment regarding the prospect of cross-console play, with Rocket League's Psyonix and Gwent's CD Projekt Red both putting out similar statements. When you consider that the vast majority of Tekken 7's players will be on the PS4, there's no real corporate advantage to Sony supporting this. But it has a real headache here, because you can't bill yourself as the "gamer's choice" by thwarting initiatives like this.