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Minecraft's cross-platform online play is powered by Xbox Live, even on the Switch

An interview with Mojang's CEO explains how and why Microsoft's online service is being used for Minecraft's cross-platform play and possibly sheds light on Sony's reluctance to join in.

According to Mojang CEO Jonas Märtensson, Minecraft will lean on Microsoft’s Xbox Live service to power its freshly announced cross-platform online play on the Xbox One, PC, mobile platforms, and even the Nintendo Switch.

Speaking to the Norwegian site Pressfire, Märtensson explained that different versions of Minecraft will all be linked through Xbox Live logins in the near future, allowing content like DLC to be shared between consoles and opening the gates to cross-platform online play in the process.

“All those involved in this, all platform owners have been very pragmatic and understand that what we want to do is create a good experience for the players,” explains Märtensson in the translated interview. “So we needed a good system to collect everyone - and Xbox Live is a good system.”

Sony’s PlayStation 4 was noticeably absent from the list of supported platforms during Microsoft’s big cross-platform announcement at its press conference, and this new piece of information could offer another reason as to why. 

Sony’s Jim Ryan had previously stated that "[Sony has] a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe." That reasoning now makes a little more sense with the added context that Minecraft multiplayer would be powered by Xbox Live logins.

However, Microsoft-owned Minecraft isn't the only cross-platform online play Sony is shying away from. The PlayStation 4 is also being excluded from Rocket League’s new cross-network play at Sony's behest.

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