I know statements like this are tantamount to heresy and that there can be no escape from Horace’s ursidaen omniscience, but on this occasion I’m going to throw myself on His mercy. Consoles can be quite good. I like having a box by my telly that doesn’t force me to solve an arcane tech problem every few months. More saliently, I know others who feel the same, and in the future it’s much less likely that I’ll have to pay absurd PlayStation prices if I want to play with them. PS4’s cross-play support has reportedly emerged from its beta phase, meaning any developer can include cross-play without special permission from Sony. I am looking forward to clicking on chumps who are stuck with crummy analogue sticks.
The news comes from a Wired interview with Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan, in which his interviewer said he avoided “announcing the news explicitly”, while still confirming that “PS4’s cross-play efforts have officially moved out of the beta stage”. An enjoyably implicit announcement, then.
Ryan has previously cited “a responsibility to the user base” as a reason not to support cross-play. He attached that to an argument about Minecraft kids being exposed to players from other platforms whose behaviour Sony can’t control, which seems a bit of a limp excuse when Sony would go on to refuse cross-play permission for games like Wargroove while allowing Fortnite free reign. Rocket League, Paladins and Smite have also previously been given the go-ahead.
Anyway, this is all in our inferior, less-connected past. Cross-play support is neat, and I imagine many developers will decide that adding functionality is worth their while, though I confess I don’t have much of a grasp on how difficult this might be for a small studio.