Sony has quietly upgraded its cross-platform play efforts on the PlayStation from beta to release, though for some reason isn't trumpeting that fact from the rooftops just yet.
While cross-platform gaming isn't a new concept, even in the console industry - Dreamcast owners were able to compete against PC gamers in Quake III Arena nearly two decades ago - it has been having something of a rough go of late. While Epic Games makes it easier to add cross-platform functionality and Microsoft looks to open its Xbox platform to mobiles and third-party consoles Sony has been something of a stick-in-the-mud: The company famously blocked the PlayStation version of Epic's Fortnite from cross-platform support before ill-feeling made it reverse the decision in September last year, while Bethesda's Todd Howard specifically blamed Sony for Fallout 76's lack of cross-platform support.
Sony's limited beta-test for cross-platform support, which was available on only a minority of PlayStation titles, has now been upgraded to release-ready - but Sony, oddly, appears to be keeping it quiet. The news comes courtesy of the closing paragraph in a Wired article on PlayStation Now, in which the author states that 'the PS4's cross-play efforts have officially moved out of the beta stage, meaning that the console can support cross-play on any titles that studios provide the functionality for' while stating that 'it's not announcing the news explicitly.'
If so, it marks a significant shift - more than a year in the making - for Sony's cross-platform efforts, and potentially means that future games released on the PlayStation 4 would include cross-platform play with PC, Xbox, and Switch gamers, providing the developers add in the functionality. It also removes Sony as the last of the console makers to actively block cross-platform play, a move likely to be welcomed by all.
July 1 2020 | 17:34