While we’ve seen some games gain cross-platform compatibility this year, Sony has been at the forefront of trying to stop it…until now. It took big names like Infinity Ward’s new Call of Duty Modern Warfare to get Sony to finally open the floodgates and allow all developers to use its cross-platform feature. This means, in the future, more and more games will allow you to play with friends on other platforms. How will this impact gaming overall? Let’s take a look.

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Sony opens cross-platform gaming to all developers

While Sony originally put up a fight when Fortnite opened up its cross-platform gaming gates, it eventually gave in to the pressure and allowed gamers on all platforms to enjoy building sessions with each other. There’s also Rocket League on the cross-platform play match, with the latest addition being Call of Duty Modern Warfare. However, up until recently, this feature was in beta, only available to select developers.

With Sony’s most recent developer update spotted by Wired, cross-platform gaming is now available to all developers, instead of just the select few to have been granted access before.

Sony’s cross-platform means more interaction

Until now, if you wanted to jump into a Call of Duty, Battlefield, or other gaming matches with friends, everyone had to be on the same platform. Have a friend with a PC? Good luck. Xbox? Hah, great joke. Switch? Well, that’s just not gonna happen. With cross-platform gaming, that’s all a thing of the past. No longer will you be locked into just playing with a few of your friends, because they’re the only ones who share the same console as you. With cross-platform gaming, you’ll be able to easily jump into a match with friends on multiple platforms at one time. That’s right, it’s not just limited to two platforms at once. In theory, you could be in a four-person match with friends on Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC at the same time.

While console companies are worried this could hurt sales, in reality, this will drive sales of higher-end devices, I think. No longer will you feel that money is “wasted” if you buy an Xbox One X to play with only a few of your friends, as you can now play with anyone (as long as the game supports it). If anything, this will drive game sales as friends will be able to jump into matches with friends around the country on any platform, making games much more enjoyable.

Sony’s cross-platform gaming doesn’t mean you’ll always be in lobbies with other platforms

While some might take this update and say “I don’t want to play against PC gamers with keyboards and mice when on my PlayStation 4”, that’s not always the case. If we take how Call of Duty did its Modern Warfare beta, for instance, platform filtering will be in full effect.

Choices included:

  • Only your platform with only controller
  • Only your platform with only keyboard/mouse
  • Only your platform with mixed controller + keyboard/mouse
  • Cross-platform with only controller
  • Cross-platform with only keyboard/mouse
  • Cross-platform with mixed controller + keyboard/mouse

As you can see here, there were quite a few options available for gamers to choose from. This allows you to decide who you’re playing with for a more tailored experience overall.

New cloud-based gaming services from Microsoft and Sony

9to5Toys’ take

Honestly, this is a killer feature for game developers and gamers themselves. This update allows anyone to play with their friends, no matter the platform they choose. With the upcoming PS5 and new Xbox Scarlett still to-be-announced, things are becoming less about what ecosystem you want, and more about personal preference.

My personal favorite console right now is the Xbox One X. It’s faster than my PS4 Pro at many tasks, and the graphics are far better on my Dolby Vision-enabled 4K TV. Plus, Microsoft’s Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller is something that nobody has been able to match yet. This gives me the option to choose to use Xbox One X and my Elite Controller when gaming with friends on PlayStation and PC, which is something that I have longed for.

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