Sony’s confusing stance on cross-play continues to be a topic of discussion in the industry as always. With them allowing full cross-platform play functionality for some games, but allegedly refusing it for many others, the question of whether they will ever let the walls down around their systems has remained a pertinent one.
But if they were to keep on doing what they have been doing and not allow full cross-play with the Xbox One and the Switch, would they need to make concessions in other areas, in order to placate the masses? We recently spoke with Jim Dirschberger of Wide Right Interactive, developers of the upcoming shoot ’em up Freedom Finger, and posed the question of Sony’s cross-play stance to him. According to Dirschberger, if Sony wants to keep on not allowing cross-play completely, it needs to make up for that by offering perks to its consumers that are exclusive to PlayStation.
“Unless they can substitute the lack of cross-play with some PlayStation-specific perks, it seems like an unnecessary burden to shoulder,” said Dirschberger. That said, he also sees things from Sony’s point of view, and understands why they have been so reluctant to go down the same road that Microsoft and Nintendo have taken so willingly. “From their point of view, I can see the risk,” he told GamingBolt. “They’ve worked hard to create a very specific kind of online environment for their customers, do they really want to open the floodgates and let the competition in?”
According to Dirschberger though, in the long-term, cross-play is something that needs to become an industry standard. “It really has to, you know?” he said, when asked if he saw cross-play functionalities becoming a defining feature of next generation consoles. “I think developers have to demand it as well. I have fond memories of playing 4×4 Evo’s multiplayer on my Dreamcast against PC players. It just worked and was a ton of fun. Beyond the obvious benefits to players, it makes the games somewhat future proof, because when a console’s multiplayer server inevitably shuts down, you still have some alternative options.”
Wide Right Interactive’s Freedom Finger is out later this year on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Our full interview with Dirschberger will be going live soon, so stay tuned.