Xbox, Switch use ‘Fortnite’ momentum against PS4 in new ‘Minecraft’ trailer

The June 21 release of ‘Minecraft: Bedrock Edition’ on Switch enables cross-platform play with Xbox One, Windows 10, VR and mobile. — Picture courtesy of Microsoft / Nintendo
The June 21 release of ‘Minecraft: Bedrock Edition’ on Switch enables cross-platform play with Xbox One, Windows 10, VR and mobile. — Picture courtesy of Microsoft / Nintendo

SAN FRANCISCO, June 23 — With the PlayStation 4 outstripping the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One for comparative console sales, Nintendo and Xbox are letting their players play together for fun, profit, and positive publicity.

After PlayStation prevented its players from using their Fortnite accounts on Xbox One and now Nintendo Switch, the latter two are now teaming up over Minecraft.

The game became part of Xbox parent Microsoft in 2014 as part of a US$2.5 billion (RM10 billion) buyout, making it more suitable for use than other cross-platform games like Fortnite, Rocket League or Paladins.

Unthinkable even five years ago, the trailer reflects a rapid shift in consumer expectations and a change in status for PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo.

The PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch have all been influenced by trends in mobile gaming, whether in terms of the souped-up PS4 Pro and Xbox One X or the Switch’s home and portable hybrid nature.

Consumer expectations, shaped by various forms of cross-platform in mobile, are now influencing the software side as well.

But cross-platform gaming doesn’t just let people play together, it makes it easier to leave one platform behind entirely, as players bring their progress and friends lists with them.

With industry observers expecting new PlayStation and Xbox consoles by 2020, it’s to the advantage of Xbox and Nintendo to erode PlayStation’s lead both financially and in terms of reputation.

PlayStation has amassed 73 million PS4 sales since it and the Xbox One launched late on in 2013, compared to undisclosed Xbox One sales of between 29 million (a May 2018 estimate from publishing giant Electronic Arts) and somewhere south of 59 million (Xbox’s counter-reference to monthly active users.)

Nintendo has raced out of the blocks since the Switch debuted in March 2017, first-year sales passing 14 million, but remains vulnerable to new PlayStation and Xbox consoles as well as innovations in mobile.

Would Xbox and Nintendo endorse cross-platform if they weren’t playing catch-up? Perhaps not in the past. With the way things are going, they might have to in the future. — AFP-Relaxnews

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