The Nintendo Switch version of Minecraft is getting a big update today, bringing the Bedrock Engine to Nintendo’s portable console. The update enables cross-play with PC, Xbox One, and smartphones — but notably not the PlayStation 4. Sony is blocking cross-play for Fortnite, Rocket League, and Minecraft so PS4 players can’t play against Xbox One or Nintendo Switch owners. Meanwhile, Nintendo and Microsoft are partnering to utilize cross-play as a marketing weapon today.
The Minecraft cross-play trailer specifically focuses on the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch being able to play together. It also includes the rare sight of an Xbox One controller in a Switch commercial. If that’s not enough of a partnership, the ad even encourages players to create, explore, and survive together in Minecraft on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
It’s clear that Nintendo and Microsoft have signed a marketing deal to highlight cross-play for Minecraft, a game that Microsoft publishes itself. It’s unusual to see such a partnership between console rivals, and it once again leaves Sony as the odd one out that’s refusing to enable cross-play between consoles and staying silent.
Fortnite fans still aren’t happy that Sony is effectively holding their accounts hostage over its cross-play block, and the company has only issued a weak response to the controversy. It’s clear that Microsoft and Nintendo see the advantages of cross-play, and they’re more than happy to use it as marketing leverage.