After Monday’s surprise announcement that Microsoft was opening the Xbox One up to wider cross-platform play, the only thing standing between a more-unified console multiplayer future is Sony. Now, the PlayStation maker has responded to Microsoft’s offer—but in an incredibly vague and hard-to-read way.
“PlayStation has been supporting cross-platform play between PC on several software titles starting with Final Fantasy 11 on PS2 and PC back in 2002,” the company said in a statement issued to Gamespot. “We would be happy to have the conversation with any publishers or developers who are interested in cross-platform play.”
On the surface, that statement suggests that Sony is willing to open the doors to the PlayStation Network at least a crack, even if it’s not willing to throw those doors as wide open as Microsoft is. It sounds like PSN cross-platform access will be granted on a case-by-case basis—perhaps the standards will be different for niche indie titles and the big-budget shooters that really drive PSN’s network effects.
Then again, Sony’s direct mention of its long-standing support for cross-platform play with the PC could be telling. From a business and marketing standpoint, sharing your console’s players with those on a computer platform is a bit different from sharing them with those on a more directly competing console. Still, Sony didn’t have to bring up that history of semi-openness. The fact that it did could mean it wants to project a more welcoming image as it gauges a fuller response to Microsoft.