One of the most talked about news from this E3 2017 has been the possibility for Minecraft players from Xbox, PC, Nintendo Switch, mobile, and VR platforms to play online together as a unified community. Today, Mojang CEO Jonas Märtensson has confirmed that the online platform that will connect all players will be Xbox Live. That includes Nintendo Switch players, who will need to login into Microsoft’s platform.
Here is how Märtensson explained this decision: “(…) Everyone that’s in on this, all the platform holders, have been pretty pragmatic and understanding of that what we’re trying to do is create a good experience for the players. We needed a good system to connect everyone, and Xbox Live is a good system.”
While the idea of using a Microsoft platform on a Nintendo console may seem bizarre, players can be sure that this will not imply paying an extra subscription apart from the one needed for all Nintendo Switch games starting next year.
Sony famously dropped from this cross play project for all Minecraft versions. At the time, Jim Ryan alluded to their responsibility to look after their userbase and not being able to respond for the actions of users of other platforms, but the fact that PlayStation users would need to connect to Microsoft’s platform, Sony’s most direct competitor, does sound like a more likely reason. Sony currently allows cross play with PC on some titles like Street Fighter V, Rocket League, or Final Fantasy XIV.