Cross-Platform Play Now Finally Fully Supported On PlayStation 4
For over a year, Sony stuck to an infamously stubborn stance on cross-platform multiplayer, throwing out excuses and reasons that nobody was particularly convinced by, especially as rivals Nintendo and Microsoft started to buddy up in a big way.
In a happy turn of events, PlayStation 4's cross-play functionality is now reportedly out of beta and available to any developer that wants to implement it in their games.
It means that Xbox and PlayStation 4 players may be soon be able to play FIFA 20, EA Sports' latest football video game, against one another online.
Sony first announced that it would finally yield and enable cross-play support for games between PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, and mobile devices in September last year in the face of fans and industry figures all vehemently pointing out that cross-play was quite clearly the future. Even Nintendo and Microsoft took light-hearted aim at PlayStation with a video celebrating cross-platform play in Minecraft.
But while it was over a year ago that Sony confirmed cross-platform PlayStation fun, the catch was that the feature would remain in beta for an indefinite amount of time, and would only be available for a select number of developers on certain titles.
Obviously, Fortnite was the first big game to kick off cross-platform fun (a no-brainer, really), before titles like Rocket League and, more recently, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare got in on the action, with Infinity Ward's upcoming FPS recently testing cross-platform between Xbox One, PS4, and PC in a weekend beta.
The whole endeavor has clearly been a success in the eyes of Sony, as SIE CEO Jim Ryan revealed in an interview with Wired that cross-play has exited its beta phase and can be used in any game - provided the developer wants to make it so. The full release of Modern Warfare, which launches October 25, is expected to be the next big game to launch with the feature enabled.
With PS4 cross-play now officially out in the wild, it hopefully won't be long before we see some of the other big, notable multiplayer omissions on PlayStation connect with rival platforms. Minecraft would be a good place to start, for example, seeing as PS4 is currently the only console that doesn't enable block-building fun between friends on separate platforms.
It makes perfect sense for most developers to enable cross-play in their games. Being able to combine playerbases, commerce, and gameplay between various platforms can only be seen as a win for both consumer and studio. Fingers crossed this kicks off a long and fruitful golden age of cross-platform play.