At E3 2017, Psyonix announced that there would finally be cross-play support for Rocket League across Xbox One and Nintendo Switch–but not PlayStation 4. Sony has its own reasons for not allowing cross-play with competing consoles, some of which were explained by Psyonix’s Jeremy Dunham in a new interview.
“There have been slight variations on how it’s been presented to us, but essentially it’s the same answer,” he told Engadget. “It’s, ‘Not right now” or, ‘It’s something we’ll consider.’ That’s paraphrasing, but there hasn’t been any movement.”
Psyonix has been persistent, apparently. Dunham said ever since Rocket League’s launch on PS4 in 2015, at least one person at Psyonix has asked Sony about cross-play “every single day.”
By comparison, Nintendo gave Psyonix a positive response about cross-play for Rocket League on Nintendo Switch the same day that Psyonix inquired about it, apparently. Microsoft needed more time, but only about a month to agree to it.
Also in the interview, Dunham said said Pysonix has tested cross-play between Xbox One and PS4 in closed environments to ensure that it will work, and the results were positive. Now, it’s just a matter of Sony giving the green light.
Sony won’t allow cross-platform play for Minecraft, either. At E3, Sony’s Jim Ryan suggested that Sony is concerned about what could go wrong when allowing its own players, some of which could be children, to connect to a network outside of its own.
“We’ve got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base. Minecraft–the demographic playing that … it’s all ages but it’s also very young,” he said. “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.”
Microsoft’s Dave McCarthy told GameSpot at E3 that the company has had discussions with Sony about cross-play, but Sony is “not quite there yet.”
“My hope is that they join the party as well because I think it’s an awesome thing to do for gamers,” he said.
In March 2016, Microsoft publicly announced that it was open to connecting Xbox Live to other gaming networks, including PlayStation Network and Nintendo’s own online service.
Rcket League for Nintendo Switch supports TV and mobile play, as well as online and local multiplayer. Online multiplayer supports up to eight players, Psyonix said. The Switch version of Rocket League has all the same content, features, and updates from the other editions. There are exclusive Battle-Car and customization items, including Mario and Luigi hat toppers.
Rocket League’s Switch edition will launch this holiday, though a specific release date has not been announced. More details about the game will be announced later this year.