Xbox, Nintendo, and PlayStation are partnering up to make online gaming safer for their players.
Microsoft and Nintendo announced the new partnership in posts to their respective sites, with nearly identical messages titled titled "Our Shared Commitment to Safer Gaming." The post outlines why the three companies have decided to work together and what they intend to do. It doesn't mention it specifically, but increasingly common cross-platform multiplayer (or cross-play) was likely a driving force behind this new partnership.
"At Xbox, we are aligned with both Nintendo, on behalf of the community of Nintendo Switch players and PlayStation in our belief that protecting players online requires a multidisciplinary approach – one that combines the benefits of advanced technology, a supportive community, and skilled human oversight," Microsoft's announcement reads. "We can accomplish more when we work toward the same goal, and so we will each continue investing in, evolving, and amplifying our approaches to user safety. As we continue this work, we will prioritize protecting the safety of our players, especially those most vulnerable."
The post outlines three principles that will guide the partnership: prevention, which will empower players and their guardians to better control their own gaming experiences; partnership between the community, industry, regulators, and law enforcement; and responsibility, to hold each company accountable for making their online spaces as safe as possible.
"Protecting players can be challenging in a digitally and often instantaneously connected world. This partnership signifies our commitment to work together to improve player safety and ensure gaming remains truly for everyone. While the video game industry has a long history of taking steps to protect gamers, especially children, we recognize that no one company or industry will solve these challenges alone."
There's no specific mention of pooling resources, or any kind of enforceable element if one of the companies is found to fall short of the agreement, so this feels more like a semi-formal statement of intent rather than a unilateral new direction for the games industry. I've also reached out to Sony to see if it has anything more to share about their part in this partnership and will update this story with any response.
Play safely over the holidays, and maybe even make the season a little brighter with the best gifts for gamers.