Given its gigantic lead in the the current-gen console war, one can probably forgive Sony for it’s reluctance to embrace cross-network multiplayer gaming.
If more people have PlayStation 4 consoles than Xbox One consoles, it’s natural the Japanese giant would embody its “the best place to play” edict by encouraging as many people to buy PlayStations as possible.
However, in a wider gaming realm opening up to the joys of cross-play on any device, the stance came across as something out of Ebenezer Scrooge’s miserly playbook. Rivals took pleasure in pointing that out too.
So, Sony slowly began relenting with titles like Rocket League and Fornite, and just recently we heard that the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare multiplayer mode will enable players on all formats to blow each other to smithereens.
Related: PS5 vs Xbox 2
Now, Sony’s thrown off the shackles completely and opened up cross-play to all developers. In an interview with Wired, Sony revealed the cross-play experiment is no longer a beta project limited to certain games.
The report reads:
“While it’s not announcing the news explicitly, 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.”
Sony’s motivation appears to be that the current-generation’s race is already run. The PS4 has won handily. The company isn’t complacent about that continuing into the PS5 vs Xbox 2 battle, especially with streaming services now expected to be a major factor. Instead, it’ll start with a fresh playing field with everyone able to enjoy their favourite games regardless of the platform they’re on.
PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan said: “The track record of the incumbent platform winning the next time around is not a great one,” Jim Ryan says. “So the major thrust of my executive energy is to avoid complacency.”
Sony, of course, will still be able to rely heavily on its currently-peerless array of first party studio titles when the PS5 eventually rolls around.