The final piece of the cross-play puzzle has finally come to pass. Sony’s beta phase is over and PlayStation 4 cross-play is now official.
As of right now, any game on PlayStation 4 can support cross-platform multiplayer with PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch users provided the developers choose to support the future.
The big difference to the beta test is the feature is now widely available to all developers, whereas previously it was just a feature for specific popular titles for which Sony gave the green light. This included Rocket League, Fortnite, PUBG, Dauntless, Paladins, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
It’s a weird future we live in, and one which would’ve been absolutely unthinkable just 10 years ago. We can now, in theory, all play together in multiplayer titles regardless of which is our chosen platform. We’ve come a long way from writing off cross-platform multiplayer because “PlayStation is the best place to play.”
It’s great news and should, in the long term, prevent those annoying quandaries where you want to pick up ‘x’ game on PC while one mate wants it on PS4 and another already has it on Xbox One. Under this system, everyone can now play together.
The downside to all of this is that cross-play will have to be implemented on a per-game basis. There’s no magic switch to enable the feature and it will of course require some considerable extra development work. For games with smaller populations, however, this is a great way to unify the player base and keep games alive for longer.
Earlier this week, Sony also confirmed a massive price cut for its PlayStation Now cloud streaming and subscription gaming service. £50 a year will now get you access to a library of hundreds of titles which can be streamed on PC, including marquee offerings such as God of War and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.