The idea seems so simple: to let gamers play against (or with) each other regardless of the platform they’re on. Wide cross-play support has been a long time coming, but it really didn’t start to take off in a big way until a couple of years ago. In 2017, we wrote about how how good the experience was with Forza Horizon 3, when PC and Xbox One cross-play worked perfectly in all of our “experiments”.
The PlayStation 4 has been resistant to cross-play’s advances, until now
Despite cross-play functionality being a good thing for all gamers, some companies have been more open to the idea than others. Microsoft deserves some praise for being one of the first to force things to change, especially since Sony has long painted itself as a true stick-in-the-mud. Fallout 76 was supposed to be a cross-play title before Sony had its say. Last fall, the company decided to loosen its restrictions to allow Fortnite to join the cross-play party, and back in January, the company enabled Rocket League to become completely cross-play capable.
According to Wired, the PS4 “beta” of cross-play has officially ended, meaning every developer that wants to enable cross-play functionality will be able to. The importance of this move can’t be understated. In time, we’ll hopefully forget about cross-play battles we faced in the past, because it will become so ubiquitous with our gaming.
Whether someone chooses Xbox or PlayStation has long boiled down to exclusive games, and with cross-play opening up, absolutely nothing will change about that. Both Microsoft and Sony will need to continue making sure that they deliver the goods to get you swaying one way or another. And in the event a game is in fact cross-play, and available for PC, then you’ll still get to play it on the platform of your choice, since your friends on another won’t be locked away.
The upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is slated to become one of the first major titles to take advantage of cross-play after leaving its beta, allowing PC, PS4, and Xbox gamers to play in the same battlefields.