After six years Sony finally opens up the PS4 to cross-platform multiplayer support

In brief: In a side note to a conversation about cloud gaming, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan said that the company has opened up cross-platform play to any developer that wants to add it to their games. This is a big step for Sony and a long time coming. But is it too late to for it to matter with the PS5 almost here?

Sony has put up a lot of resistance in allowing cross-platform play on its PlayStation 4 platform. Games like Fortnite, ARK: Survival Evolved, and Fallout 76 have all been denied access to the cross-platform playground by Sony.

However, with the next-generation console wars starting to heat up and the PS4’s lifecycle winding down, the walls have been crumbling for players who crave competing with their friends on other platforms.

Wired reports that cross-play has moved out of the beta phase. As you may recall, Sony opened up cross-play somewhat last September allowing its PS4 Fortnite players to intermingle with those on other platforms. At first, it seemed as though Sony was caving to pressure from angry Fortnite fans who were locked out of their accounts when trying to play on the Switch.

However, in January it officially announced a Cross-Play Beta program adding Rocket League to the open arena. Since then, other games, including PUBG, Dauntless, Paladins, Smite, and Realm Royal have been allowed into the program.

“The track record of the incumbent platform winning the next time around is not a great one. Sony wants to make sure they give the perception they’re not letting competition get a leg up.”

Although Sony has not officially announced the opening of the beta, as we noted back in May, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is going to enable cross-platform play later this month. In fact, now any developer can add the functionality to its multiplayer games, according to Sony.

The news comes as the console giant begins a big push to its cloud-gaming platform PS Now and the imminent arrival of the PlayStation 5. Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan believes that they have rested on their laurels long enough over the issue.

“The track record of the incumbent platform winning the next time around is not a great one,” Ryan said. “So the major thrust of my executive energy is to avoid complacency. Sony wants to make sure they give the perception they’re not letting competition get a leg up.”

Other than CoD: MW, Ryan had no information on other games that may enable cross-play. However, as word gets out, I’m sure we can expect to see many other games entering the fray.

Image credit: charnsitr via Shutterstock

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