We’ve seen cross-platform play – and things associated with it, such as cross-platform progression – becoming increasingly more common over the last year or so. While Sony’s cross-play policies had been quite restrictive in the past, as more and more developers and players started pushing for cross-play, Sony’s policies started easing up as well, to the point where now all three platform holders are collectively fairly comfortable with allowing cross-play in games on their platforms.
However, according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, that battle still isn’t won. Speaking with IGN, Spencer said that though cross-play, cross-buy, and cross-progression are being adopted with greater frequency now, Microsoft will continue to push for those practices the way they have been doing for a while, and won’t rest until they become industry standards.
“You should be able to play with the people you want to play with,” said Spencer. “And if we can support that, and we can be advocates and champions for that, great. Tim Sweeney has been out there pushing hard on this. We think cross play, cross progression, cross buy are things that people should be able to expect in this year with the digital currencies and economies that are out there, but yeah, I feel really good that cross place growing in popularity. I still don’t see it everywhere, so the battle is not won.”
Microsoft have certainly put their money where their mouth is, with regards to this. In addition to actively having pushed cross-play and cross-buy on both Xbox One and PC, ahead of their next-gen launch, they’ve also announced a cross-buy feature for the Xbox Series X and their current console, called Smart Delivery. Games such as Gears 5 and Cyberpunk 2077 have already committed to Smart Delivery as well.