It’s been just over a week since Microsoft and Psyonix grabbed everyone’s attention by announcing that, beginning with Rocket League, Xbox One will support cross-platform play. Since then, Sony has commented that they “would be happy to have the conversation” with any devs looking to connect multiple consoles’ networks together, and you can bet that Psyonix is already getting into those discussions with them. In fact, according to Psyonix, they’ve already got the technological issues all worked out—the only thing still holding them back is determining “where [they] stand politically with everyone.”
“The only thing we have to do now is sort of find out where we stand politically with everyone, and then it’s full steam ahead to finish the solution that we’ve already started.
“Technologically everything works, we’ve got it figured out, just a little bit of time to get everything up and running. Right now, excitement is the best way to put it. We just want to get in there and make it happen. Elation is probably another word I would use. We’re just excited.”
— Jeremy Dunham, Vice President of Psyonix
If the internet’s reaction is any indication, I’d say gaming fans are pretty excited too. There are no doubt many titles that people have wanted to play with their friends, only to find that they didn’t all have the same console and therefore couldn’t connect with one another online. Cross-platform play is a welcome solution to keep providing fans with the freedom to stick to their console of choice without necessarily alienating themselves from some of their fellow gamers.
But in addition to that benefit, Dunham stresses that cross-platform play has more far-reaching effects. At least at Psyonix, they believe that it will impact the ability of games to gather an wider audience and for the developers to continue working on making the game a better and more consistent experience for all players.
“There’s this weird psychological thing that happens with people if you let them know that their community is small, even though they’re enjoying the game and playing it.
“There’s this weird effect where sometimes it encourages them to stop playing if they think nobody else is going to play with them, which creates a snowball effect where other people stop playing because they don’t think anyone’s going to play.”
“The more people you have to throw in there, the less likely that psychological anomaly will kick in. Then you have the actual reality of it, which is, more players, for everyone, means more games, and more games means more participation and community feedback, which we can then put into the game as a whole and not have to worry about siloing off certain features of certain platforms because this version doesn’t have it, or whatever the situation may be.”
— Jeremy Dunham
Do you think Dunham is right in his comments? Are games and developers going to be better off once we break down the console walls and let each group play together? Give us your thoughts in the comments!