Can we all take a step back, for a second, and appreciate what is happening with cross-platform play? The big news, of the past few days, is the linking of Xbox and Nintendo players via Minecraft. Such forays into bringing together seemingly separate communities (also see games like Rocket League) is proving that we’re all gamers, and deserve to game together, regardless of platform.
That is, unless you’re a Playstation player.
The other big headline revolved around Playstation’s inability to let its users use their Fortnite accounts on Nintendo Switch. Such moves seems very counter to the idea that Playstation is “for the players.” Though you have to admit that when they say they are the “best place to play” what they really mean is “only place to play.”
And, look, I like Playstation. Games like Spiderman and Horizon Zero Dawn are amazing titles (and are making me teeter on the fence in terms of picking up a PS4, for myself) but if I’m going to be paying a membership fee of $299 to enter a walled-garden, country-club atmosphere, that gives me great pause.
I remember the days of Genesis and Nintendo – the classic Nintendon’t ads. Tribalism, amongst gamers, go way, way back. In 2018, it’s wonderful to see that groups that were once considered enemies, are now finding ways to connect, bring their players together, and widen the pool of individuals who can create shared experiences.
So it perplexes me, to no end, why Playstation refuses to enter this space. Many have said that Sony is so comfortable with their lead that they feel that diluting the pool would affect their bottom line. Many say that Sony are simply being assholes. Whatever the reason, game-blocking your user base from the “outside world” can only serve to make you seem snobbish, and counter-community.
For their part, Xbox seems to be full steam ahead with their push on being inclusive: cross-platform play, the Adaptive controller, the various gaming groups that target women and minorities. It’s just amazing to see that one company is blazing the trail, by which others can walk down and learn from.
Obviously, the great utopia would be a world where games allow us to play with any of our friends, regardless of ANY platform that they’re on. Technology is definitely working towards this goal, but certain steps (even small ones) need to be taken.
Cross-platform play is just such one of those steps. I applaud Xbox and Nintendo for coming together on this effort. I hope that Sony eventually comes on-board.
It’s the right thing to do.
It’s the best thing to do.
It’s for the players.