Sony Interactive Entertainment has been dragging its feet on console cross-play since the feature was introduced. After considerable pressure and scrutiny, it bent on its position, and began supporting the feature. But its support of it has been lackluster, and to date, only a few games have been privileged to boast console cross-play. And as a result, Sony once again finds itself the target of criticism.
During a recent PAX East 2019 panel, Taehoon Kim, CEO of nWay, the studio that put out Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid last month, talked about Sony limiting cross-play, and how in turn that limits games, which hinders experiences for gamers.
"Right now it’s not fully there, because one of the biggest platforms out there, Sony, still isn’t fully opening up," said Kim "They’ve made some exceptions with a handful of games like Fortnite and Rocket League, but they’ve said they have to judge whether they can allow through other games or not. They’re getting a lot of pressure to open up.
"People want to play with their friends, and not all of your friends are going to be on the exact same platform as you are. Being able to do that is great. Also, families like to play together. One thing we’ve seen with games like Vainglory and Fortnite is that a whole family may want to play together, but nobody owns four PlayStations. Dad’s going to play on the iPad, one kid is on the PS4, another kid is on his phone. That kind of gameplay is only possible through crossplay."
Kim adds that crossplay isn't going anywhere with the rise of games as a service. In fact, the two are intimately linked together.
"Also, connecting crossplay to the more recent notion of games as a service is especially powerful," said Kim. "When you’re running a game as a service, you want people to be able to access that game from any device. Fortnite is one of the best examples right now. Being able to access that on any device — mobile, Switch, PC, console — that’s very important."1comments
Of course, these are all valid points made by Kim, and many of them echo points previously made and points that will continue to be made as Sony drags its feet. However, it's quite possible Sony is just doing the bare minimum for this generation, and will change its stance come the PS5. If it doesn't, well, I think it will find it difficult to once again establish itself as the market leader