Nintendo Switch Minecraft players now viewable on Xbox One friend lists

The Nintendo Switch trailer for Minecraft doubles down on cross-play hard - throwing up a message of unity between the contrasting, branded colors of Xbox green and Nintendo red: Create together. In Switch's case specifically, players can't even access the game on Nintendo's console if their Epic account has ever been used on a PS4. First, the PlayStation 4 was the only platform that doesn't support cross-play. It got a new best friend.

Sony isn't mentioned anywhere in the video, but it's clear the trailer takes a passive-aggressive jab at the company's stubbornness around cross-play. It still seems a little unusual to us to see in this Nintendo commercial a woman holding an Xbox One controller playing with a Switch gamer - it's been drilled in our heads that each respective platform has its own multiplayer silo, but those walls are now crumbling. The original version published by Activision showed an Xbox One controller, the version on the PlayStation channel was identical but the controller was blurred out.

The answer is that these ads are rather entertaining trolling attacks targeting Sony's Playstation 4, which has been the subject of some recent backlash coming out of E3 over the platform's lockdown on its system's games.

Microsoft and Nintendo vs. Minecraft (which is actually a Microsoft property, after the company paid $2.5 billion for developer Mojang a few years ago) has been a best-selling game for years, and it's been on the Switch since 2017. If a copy of a game is subsequently uploaded online by pirates, then Nintendo is able to check the key contained within that copy, and permanently ban any Switch hardware running it.

Sony is stuck between a rock and a hard place over this Fortnite issue.

It isn't the only instance though, with Rocket League allowing the same, and most recently Fortnite joining in the cross-play fun. This makes it a relatively slim margin between Sony and Microsoft, with a similar result happening a year ago, but with the companies flipped.

  • Kara Saunders