After more than a year of being behind the times compared to other major gaming platforms, Sony has finally taken the PlayStation 4 cross-play feature out of beta and made it available to all studios for their games.
Xbox One, PC, and even players on Nintendo Switch can now look forward to more experiences shared with friends on other platforms, including competitive games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Rainbow Six Siege, PUBG, and more. Although it is unclear exactly how difficult it will be for some games, this feature is now an option for developers and will likely set the standard for the next console generation.
Games like Fotnite and Rocket League helped lead the charge on making the entire gaming community aware of how it was just PlayStation that was holding out on cross-play. Epic Games went as far as accidentally flipping the feature on in its game for a brief period, which brought a lot of attention to the issue.
And while many games like the two mentioned above, were able to work around the limitations and get cross-play started, it isn’t that simple for other titles.
If a game isn’t directly made to work across different consoles, be it due to limitations in the netcode or the system itself, not every game can just flip a switch like so many people tend to think. A game has to be specifically geared toward cross-play, which could happen now that the proverbial gates are open.
Overwatch is a big example of a game that has a lot of resources behind it, but Blizzard has come out multiple times and said cross-play won’t work for multiple reasons, specifically between PC and console.
No version of Overwatch, including the upcoming Switch release, have cross-play capabilities because Blizzard wants to keep the playing field level for the different player bases. There are several games that have a competitive scene that split up console and PC players for fairness and performance reasons, and that is something that will be taken into account more moving forward.
We might see Blizzard open up cross-play between PlayStation and Xbox now that it is an option since both consoles have access to the same specs and play with the same peripherals, but there is nothing confirmed.