Recently we found out that Sony had a major policy change in which they were going to allow cross play with Xbox, Nintendo Switch, iOS/Android and PC/Mac. This is only going to be available on Fortnite to start with and Sony are doing it as a ‘beta’. They also mentioned at the end of the press release that they will announce in the near future what this is going to mean for other titles.
The first thing that I am going to concentrate on is the fact that Sony is calling this a ‘beta’. Even though they have allowed the Cross play, they are still keeping the cards close to their chests, just incase something goes wrong, or there is something that they don’t like, and as it is only a beta, they can pull the plug on it whenever they like.
A timeframe hasn’t been stated for how long the beta is going to be, but I think Sony want to be perfectly sure that everything is OK before fully committing to it as well as letting any other games be available.
Games. This is the next thing on the agenda, currently only Fortnite is going to be supported, but Sony seem to be committed to allowing other games, so fingers crossed if all goes well, more will be opened up to it. We know that Minecraft supports cross play with everything barring PS4, so this would be a potential candidate for it, as well as Rocket League which has had cross play between Xbox One, Switch and others for a while.
Something to look at here is the possibilities that this could create when it comes to other games and the longevity for that game. If you think of games like Call of Duty or Battlefield, searching for lobbies wouldn’t be a problem, you should be able to guarantee getting into a game without being placed in empty lobbies (I’m looking at you Battlefield.)
Lesser known games as well would get a boost from this, instead of having 2,3 or more different sets of individual groups of players, you would now have one mass player base to pick from, meaning games could live longer and allow more time for devs to build upon games for longer.
But the most important thing I feel that comes from this is that we all have our group of friends, and people play on what they want to play on. Whether it’s PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo etc. A lot of gamers have an ecosystem that they prefer to play on, whether its performance based, games related, we all have our reasons for why we play on what we play and sometimes our friend’s choice is different. I have both an Xbox and PlayStation, I play primarily on my PlayStation as my wife prefers to play on Xbox, its just how it is in our household. We both play Call of Duty, Destiny 2 etc, so can you imagine how good it would be if we could play together on Destiny 2 or Call of Duty from different consoles?
I did reach out to Bethesda in regards to their games, especially with The Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76, and they came back to say that the below tweet should answer any questions I have.
So, looking at that tweet, it looks like with Fallout 76 they are concentrating on getting the B.E.T.A and game launch spot on and that cross play isn’t in the plans at the moment. However, it could be that they’re looking into the cross play for Elder Scrolls Online. Which is another game I love going back to and would be great to play on cross play with my wife, who also has this on Xbox.
It would be a game changer (no pun intended), it would bring together communities and unite gamers under one banner. Yes, there would still be different systems, different environments, but the games we play online would be the same.
For me, this is a massive step forward and one I applaud Sony for. I can’t wait to see where this takes us with other games. Can we really see games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Destiny, FIFA etc getting in on this as well? The switch (again, no pun intended) has been flipped for it to happen and it’s now as far as I’m aware up to developers to want to do it. Could Sony’s reluctance to do cross play put developers off adding it into their games, but with the change of policy at Sony, is this something that they could now be actively thinking about?
What games would you like to see introduced to cross play, and do you think developers are going to start to jump on it now?