Because retail is a terrible industry at keeping secrets, PlayStation 4 copies of Minecraft: Bedrock Edition, the cross-play compatible version of the game already available on PC, mobile devices, Xbox, and Switch, are showing up in stores early, spoiling what was probably intended to be a surprise announcement by Sony, Mojang, and Microsoft.
Twitter user @ibxtoycat posted images of the games in an unnamed store’s inventory, and the wildest part about it is seeing Xbox Game Studios’ logo right next to Sony Interactive Entertainment’s on the back of the case.
So some time before the end of the holiday season this is a thing you can expect to see on sale (already piling up in stores) pic.twitter.com/WKRp1hni9G
— Andrew (Toycat) (@ibxtoycat) December 6, 2019
The PlayStation 4 version of Bedrock Edition has yet to be officially announced, but code for compatibility between it and other systems is present in the Windows 10 Edition. While the entire premise here is that you’ll be able to play Minecraft with others on different platforms and systems, the PS4 version does come with some exclusive content in the form of LittleBigPlanet cosmetics, but similar content on Switch, which includes cosmetic based on Nintendo characters, can’t be used while playing cross-play. If that’s the case here, it seems that while these companies are making attempts to play nice by letting users connect across systems, some lines, like seeing Mario on a PlayStation platform, can’t be stepped over just yet.
Because Minecraft is a Microsoft property now, connecting to people outside of PlayStation Network will require you to log in to a Microsoft account on a Sony system. So, yeah, the streams are really crossing here.
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Getting cross-play support out of Sony and the PlayStation brand has been a long fought battle for developers over the years, and the company has only recently made the jump to let PlayStation 4 players game alongside people on Xbox or the Switch. Sony first started making steps with Fortnite in September of last year, but it’s hardly the standard for the industry. There are only a handful of games out there that support cross-play to the scale of something like Minecraft, but games like Rocket League, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and SMITE are helping to pave the way to a future where anyone can play with anyone else, regardless of their platform of choice.
Before this, Sony had made a point to bring cross-play between the PS4 and PC in a few instances, including Street Fighter V, which has had that feature since it launched back in 2016.