E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2017 is winding down June 16, and already quite the number of new things to geek about in the wide world of video-gaming have been showcased this week. Microsoft has previewed their Xbox One revamp in the Xbox One X. Nintendo, of course, resented new titles for their Switch console. Both also made good on one notion they floated since last year’s E3: the concept of cross-platform play. For game titles available on multiple platforms it offers a wide level of playability. This year “Minecraft” became available to play for gamers on the Xbox One, Switch, PC and Mac to go head to head in online play.

But one company has stood aloof from this communal gathering: Sony and its PS4.

Flimsy excuse

The novelty of playing the same game across multiple game consoles and computers was first broached by Microsoft back at E3 2016. Ironically Sony, which had then expressed interest in working to make their PS4 versions of multi-platform games be capable of cross-play with Xbox One and Windows PC players, is now the odd one out. The company’s head of PlayStation global sales and marketing, Jim Ryan, had this to say of Sony’s backing out of the prospect: “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.”

Ryan then explained that Sony allowing their PS4 to be accessible for cross-platform play would expose their gamers – some of whom could be young children – to “external influences” from other platforms.

Such interactions would be impossible to regulate by Sony except by locking their system out of cross-platform gaming after all. Unfortunately, this flies in the face of Nintendo, generally accepted to be the most “kid-friendly” videogame developer, also getting into the cross-play craze at E3 this week.

Strong solitude

Microsoft’s Xbox chief Phil Spencer is understandably not happy with Sony’s statement against joining the cross-platform accessibility now that all of the latter’s competitors have already gone for it.

He also finds Sony’s assertion that other companies outside of it are not able to keep their respective players safe to be “not healthy”, both from Microsoft’s perspective and that of the whole gaming industry.

However it seems that Sony, for now, is dead set against linking its PS4 console to the rest of the consoles and computers playing common game titles over the internet, like Microsoft and Nintendo did this E3.

With the PS4 still the best-selling console in the US, they could afford to keep their online gaming community to be exclusive, while seeing the trend of the other companies in cross-platform gaming to be a way to cope with being outsold in the market.