The topic of cross-console play has been huge in the gaming industry for over a year. Microsoft committed to allowing Xbox owners to play their games with players on other consoles. Their first major project was allowing cross-play on Minecraft, a game that is all about interaction with others. As of this moment, the game can be played on every major platform, and players can all play with one another - almost. If you have an Xbox, PC, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android phone or even Switch, you can play together. Unfortunately, PlayStation players are still forced to play in the Sony walled garden. Microsoft and Nintendo have gone so far as to run cross-branded ads promoting their cross-play capabilities.
Over the past year, various game developers have commented that it is easy to implement cross-play between Xbox and PlayStation in the games. One publisher successfully tested the functionality in their production code, until Sony forced the feature off. This week, another high profile developer said that they want cross-play, but Sony has prevented the feature: Bethesda. Fallout 76, the first online-focused game in the franchise, will NOT allow gamers to play cross-platform. According to Producer Todd Howard, it is all Sony's fault.
While Sony has always been pretty steady in their resolve to not bring cross-play functionality to the PlayStation Network, it seems like the walls to that garden are starting to crack. President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America Shawn Layden told Eurogamer of player complaints,
We're hearing it. We're looking at a lot of the possibilities. You can imagine that the circumstances around that affect a lot more than just one game. I'm confident we'll get to a solution which will be understood and accepted by our gaming community, while at the same time supporting our business.
That is a huge change in policy for the company, and one that is going to be welcomed for gamers of all types, but especially in games like Fortnight, which relies on the idea of a large number of players in a game together. This feature, if it actually comes to pass, will be a win for everyone, no matter their platform of choice.