At E3 2017, in a surprise move, Microsoft announced that not only will Minecraft be getting 4K visuals with an upcoming update, it would also enabling cross-platform play across mobile, PC, and console. However, Sony rejected Microsoft's request for cross-platform play on the PlayStation 4, with PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan saying that the company has to be "mindful of our responsibility to our install base", and cannot risk exposing its younger demographic to an external network that it has "no ability to manage or look after".
Now, Xbox head Phil Spencer has voiced anger at the Sony executive's comment, rejecting the company's defense of disallowing cross-platform play.
In an interview with Giant Bomb, Spencer had the following to say:
I would love for players on all platforms to be able to stay connected. I will jump on another grenade on this one, but the fact that somebody would kind of make an assertion that somehow, we're not keeping Minecraft players safe, I found, not only from Microsoft's perspective, but from a gaming industry perspective, like I don't know why that has to become a dialog, like it doesn't seem healthy for anyone, and I feel that we can always do better with everything that we do. [...] I just really found the whole discussion around safety with our games, that somehow, we wouldn't take that as a top priority, and frankly, through our parental controls on Xbox Live and everything else that we've done, has shown that it's incredibly important to us as a platform. [...] We would never put Minecraft in a place where we felt that our players weren't safe.
While the Microsoft executive tried well to maintain a professional and calm composure, he seemed visibly offended by Sony's comment. He emphasized that player safety was a top priority for Microsoft, and Jim Ryan's comments implied otherwise, which he noticeably found insulting.
In fact, many of our readers found Sony's reasoning absurd as well. Both Sony and Microsoft have stated that "the door is open" for cross-platform play, however, the former's executive has noted that no active conversations are going on at the moment.
You can check out Phil Spencer's interview with Giant Bomb by hitting the source link below. However, the event is live the moment so you'll have to manually scrub to the 17:42 timestamp to see the executive's response.
Update: The interview in the video appears to be temporarily unavailable right now, presumably because the livestream is over. You can keep an eye out on Giant Bomb's channel in case the video resurfaces.