Sony has officially launched cross-play functionality on the PlayStation 4, allowing all developers to enable the feature in their games.
Since September 2018, the feature was only available in beta, with a select handful of games like Fortnite, Rocket League and Dauntless being allowed to enable cross-play on PS4.
With cross-play, PlayStation 4 users can play online multiplayer with people on other platforms, such as Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC, provided that the developer has chosen to support this functionality.
Interestingly, Sony didn’t make a dedicated announcement about the official launch of PS4 cross-play, instead choosing to quietly drop that news in a larger Wired story about PlayStation cloud gaming. The story was published alongside news that Sony has slashed the monthly, quarterly and annual prices of its PlayStation Now game streaming service in Canada.
While Sony may be downplaying the news, full cross-play support on PlayStation 4 nonetheless marks a major turning point for the company. Until the beta launched, Sony was notoriously against the feature coming to PlayStation 4, citing a desire to protect younger players on its platform and PlayStation being “the best to play” as reasons for its exclusion.
Even after cross-play finally came in beta form, some independent developers criticized Sony for not opening up the feature to them. This was in spite of the Japanese tech giant’s assertion that it was “open for business” when it comes to working with any developer to enable cross-play.
In that same Wired piece, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan issued a mea culpa of sorts for Sony’s long reluctance to support the feature.
“The track record of the incumbent platform winning the next time around is not a great one,” said Ryan, referring to how Sony struggled during the PlayStation 3 era but is now dominating the current console generation with the PlayStation 4. “So the major thrust of my executive energy is to avoid complacency.”
While it remains to be seen just how many PS4 games will support cross-play in the future, the next major title to do so is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which launches on October 25th.