Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that it would support cross-platform play between the Xbox One and PC. The company then went further when, without mentioning any names specifically, it said it would even support connecting to other networks, including other consoles. Sony’s response was guarded, but it did say that it would be “happy to have the conversation.”
In a recent interview, Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Computer Entertainment’s worldwide studios, said that the technical aspects of cross-platform play could in fact be relatively easy. “We’ve been doing that with PS3 and PC, PS4 and PC most recently with Street Fighter 5 and Rocket League and other games. That’s nothing new for us, in terms of working with developers and publishers to allow cross-platform play between PC and PS4,” Yoshida told Eurogamer.
That doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy, or even that it’s going to happen. The PC is comparatively open, making it easy for Sony to develop between the two, because it knows how its own networking works, and PC networking is well documented.
“Because PC is an open platform it’s much more straightforward,” Yoshida said, comparing the Xbox One to the PC. “Connecting two different closed networks is much more complicated, so we have to work with developers and publishers to understand what it is they are trying to accomplish.”
Still, Yoshida says that the technical aspects could be the easiest part. “We also have to look at policy issues and business issues as well,” Yoshida said, meaning that it might not be in the best interests of either Sony, Microsoft, or both to allow for cross-platform play between the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Based on recent comments from Rocket League developer Psyonix, it seems that cross-platform play is far from off the table, but it won’t likely be a feature we see supported in every game available on both platforms, at least anytime soon.