Sony has long stood out in the gaming community for refusing to allow cross-platform multiplayer support.
Six years after the release of the PS4, they are finally opening the gates by moving cross-play out of the beta stage.
The question is, with the PS5 so close to release, is this a PR move, or is it something the company will integrate into their future systems?
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Sony has earned a reputation for being tight-fisted when it comes to cross-platform play.
As TechSpot reports, games like Fortnite, ARK: Survival Evolved, and Fallout 76 have all previously been denied cross-platform integration by Sony.
While Xbox, PC, and Nintendo have generally allowed cross-platform support where it's possible, the perception is that Sony has wanted to keep ahead of the competition by locking in its fanbase.
However, with the PS4's lifecycle coming towards its end, those barriers are about to come down.
Giving the fans what they want
In September, Sony slightly loosened its grip by allowing PS4 Fortnite players to play online with those of other platforms.
While some attributed this to pressure from angry Fortnite fans who couldn't log into their PS4 game accounts on the Nintendo Switch, Sony officially announced an actual Cross-Play Beta program with Rocket League as its first game.
In the WIRED piece, Playstation CEO Jim Ryan was asked about cross-play. While not explicitly announced, it seems that cross-platform integration has officially moved out of the beta stage.
"The track record of the incumbent platform winning the next time around is not a great one," Ryan said. "So the major thrust of my executive energy is to avoid complacency. Sony wants to make sure they give the perception they're not letting competition get a leg up."
It seems like the addition of cross-platform play in Fortnite was just the tipping point for wider cross-play integration. That can only be good news for gamers.
The PS5 will likely come out in late 2020.