Cross platform gaming has been a hot topic issue for console gamers this year. Mainly became Microsoft introduced Cross Play for Minecraft and Sony refused to open PS4 to accommodate it. However, it is still possible to play between Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Epic Games' Fortnite is working across the two platforms.
For example, the image below was uploaded by a father and son playing side-by-side on the devices. Of course, this is all quite surprising since the idea of cross-platform gaming on Xbox One and PS4 was thought to be officially not happening.
It's interesting because the development tools for cross console gaming are in place, but Sony has vocally said it is against it.
As well as Minecraft, we have also seen Rocket League debut on Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, but not PlayStation.
This debate goes back to 2016. Back then, it seemed that Microsoft was the company wary of cross platform, whereas Sony seemed open to the idea. However, it was Microsoft who embraced it first with the launch of Minecraft Cross Play at E3 2017.
Sony's was notable in its absence as one of the compatible platforms. The company argued allowing Cross Play could possible compromise the security and safety of its users. Microsoft's scoffed at the excuse.
Just last month, the Xbox team said they were still in talks with Sony and hoped the company would ease its stance on the matter. Perhaps those talks have paid off. However, we think if a breakthrough had been made, Microsoft would have announced it.
It is no surprise that Epic Games is one of the leaders of cross-platform gaming. CEO Tim Sweeney has long talked up the benefits of playing across consoles and PC. In an interview with Gamescome this year, he said:
“I guess there's a bit of Game of Thrones going on in the way that console makers deal with each other, but ultimately there's huge value in enabling gamers to connect with all of their friends.”
“In any circle of friends there's going to be PlayStation, Xbox and PC users and all of these platforms would benefit greatly from being open and enabling all of these different gamers to play with their friends,” he said, “I'd love to see some diplomacy. Nations have diplomacy, so maybe console makers could have diplomacy too.
This is interesting, because you may remember Sweeney was hugely critical of Microsoft's Universal Windows ambitions. Last year, he said the company is trying to kill competition by creating a closed system.