Sony is finally allowing PS4 users to link up with Switch and Xbox One players as its cross-play functionality exits the beta phase. Now, developers will be able to freely implement the feature into their games.
The topic of cross-platform multiplayer was widely discussed just last year as Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony entered into what seemed to be a twilight realm. On one side, Nintendo and Microsoft were gleefully touting their seemingly newfound friendship with many high-profile games allowing for cross-play with no qualms from either side, such as Minecraft and Rocket League. Meanwhile, Sony was far more hesitant with the whole idea and opted to only allow select PS4 titles to adopt the feature.
This restriction from Sony has seemed to be a point of contention for many years. Rocket League developer Psyonix notably went into a bit of detail about how easy it is to implement cross-play, but at the time, Sony just wouldn’t budge. So, why the sudden change of heart?
It’s likely that getting grilled by both the dev and gamer community likely pricked Sony to this decision. But, really, it does make sense from a logistical perspective. Some theorized that Sony just wanted to keep PS4 players in their own little circle. But, really, this move will keep online communities thriving for longer periods of time. Even if a game’s user base is dramatically larger on another platform, this open connection will keep the entire community thriving until whenever the game as a whole is no longer popular, rather than if it’s player base on a single platform tapers off.