“I don’t just want to able to play against people on other platforms. I also want to be able to take my progress with me from device to device.”
While they may still be a couple of years from release, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that we are now nearing the launch of the next generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft. And while whatever they are is currently unknown, kept secret by the dynamic nature of hardware development, and ironclad NDAs, there are still some things we can assume about these new consoles. For instance, we can assume they will be far more powerful than the current ones, or that they will integrate 4K gaming from the get go.
According to Bethesda SVP of marketing Pete Hines, they should also continue to push for cross platform play, to the point that games become as device agnostic as possible- at least for third party games. Cross platform play and streaming, according to what Hines said in an interview with Eurogamer, should be what the next generation of consoles is all about.
“I think we’re going to continue to see streaming be a big thing among both console manufacturers and content providers of a wide variety,” he said. “The ability to deliver games to people in a variety of different ways, easier and more quickly, on a wider variety of devices. I think it’ll be a theme.”
Speaking about cross platform play, Hines had a lot more to say, however.
“I’m most heartened by Sony’s news last week about crossplay, because it seems that they’re going to open up and embrace not just crossplay, but crossplatform progression – those are two very different things,” he said. “I don’t just want to able to play against people on other platforms. I also want to be able to take my progress with me from device to device. What I’ve unlocked, what my character can do, I want to be able to go from platform to platform. And both of those things I think are equally important, and I very much am hopeful that with the next gen platforms, we’ll see even more of that, in terms of treating our fanbase as a whole, as opposed to “here’s the Xbox folks, here’s the PS4 folks, here’s the Switch folks and PC” – everybody segmented and walled off from each other. We can just say, “you’re all playing Game X” and we can treat you all the same because your experiences are all the same, you’re playing against each other.”
With Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all embracing cross platform play now, as well as streaming, in one way or another (PS Now for PlayStation, the just announced xCloud for Xbox, and the streaming service used to bring games like Resident Evil 7 and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for Nintendo), maybe Hines’ prediction will hold more true than many would like to think. As for cross platform play, while all console manufacturers have embraced it for now, it looks like Bethesda’s next game, Fallout 76, will sadly not be supporting that feature when it launches on November 14 this year on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.