Microsoft open to cross platform gaming but do Sony feel the same?
Recently my social media has been blown up with links from all kinds of sources stating that Microsoft are finally open to the idea of cross platform features, allowing Xbox gamers and PlayStation gamers to face each other at last.
From what I can see, Microsoft have openly stated that they would be interested in both console’s being able to play each other and are just waiting on Sony’s approval. Sony haven’t clearly expressed whether or not they are excited about this but they have stated to GameSpot that they ‘would be happy to have the conversation’ in regards to any publishers or developers who find themselves wanting to include cross platform play.
Sony also willingly express their support for cross platform gaming having previously allowed games such as Final Fantasy 11 in 2002, and other software titles, to be part of cross platform play between PC and the PlayStation 2. Considering Sony is a pretty secretive company, often using the tactic of teasing it’s audience with small snippets of info as demonstrated in their short statement to GameSpot, it is very hard to tell what they are really thinking.
On the one hand, they have shown that they are not completely closed off to the idea of cross platform gaming, but. and a massive but indeed, their co-operation with PC does not in any way indicate that they would be just as co-operative with Microsoft. In fact, their statement makes no direct confirmation in terms of cross platform gaming between Xbox and PlayStation in general, but rather is relative to game publishers and developers themselves.
This leads me to believe that Sony are open to discuss the idea and would, in some cases, be willing to do cross platform gaming between Xbox and PlayStation in regards to particular games, but as a whole, would rather keep their games on their own separate platform.
However, what both companies are failing to digress is the opinions of their players themselves. Clearly research must have been carried out to show that gamers are up for cross platform gaming otherwise neither company would even consider it. I on the other hand struggle to see it as a positive.
Firstly, I have played on both consoles, and from my own experiences it seems to me that Xbox seems to be more suited a younger audience whereas PlayStation tends to have more older players. The mix of what I can only describe as children against adults could cause some unnecessary tensions to arise.
Obviously I am aware that neither console is strictly adults or children, but it tends to be that players are of a similar age. I would say this divide originally rose from the price difference between consoles, Xbox generally being the cheaper of the two making it more affordable for younger gamers saving up their pocket money to purchase so to speak, or even for parents to buy as a present.
But in terms of how the console’s dashboards are displayed, Xbox does generally come across as the more childish of the two with the use of avatar customisation and the name suggestion process for new users. For example, I created an account on an Xbox and my default gamer tag was ‘SunShinyHorse’.
Now don’t take this as me slating Xbox because actually I think that’s a very positive thing as it means younger people can gain access to the gaming world a lot easier, and lets be real about this, who doesn’t like being able to customise their own personal avatar. It’s fun. My point is however, when the two consoles have grown in their own ways with this divide present, it may become very unusual to have a more even split of adults against children.
The language may not be wholly appropriate for the younger gamers (although from what I’ve heard on the mic it seems to be the younger ones who are the worst) and their game playing style may conflict with that of a more mature audience. I know for a fact that when I’m playing an objective based game-mode on Call of Duty and there’s that one ten year old in the lobby who gets placed on your team but is too busy trying to do trick-shots with a crappy sniper, well it angers me. It’s annoying. Or when you get that one kid who thinks it’s funny to follow you around and get in your way on purpose. Generally speaking, younger players don’t take the game as seriously as older players and it can cause playing the game to become unenjoyable so to me, increasing the chances of this happening could cause unwanted issues.
Contrary to that however, I do agree that it is positive in terms of being able to play with friends on a different platform and it could be entertaining to listen to the arguments about whose console is better. You’ll know from my previous article ‘Gamers behaving badly’ that the online bickering does humour me most of the time. But I guess hearing the same age old argument over and over again would get very tiresome in the end. You rarely hear people debating the whole ‘what came first the chicken or the egg?’ argument anymore because quite simply it got boring.
So what makes this any different? I used my own social media to see what people thought on the whole cross platform gaming and one response was ‘It better happen, I can finally prove I am the king of console gaming’ whilst another simply responded that both companies should address other issues first such as ‘PSN and Xbox live memberships should be discounted for longer serving customers’ and ‘Game score and trophies should turn into vouchers’ whilst another stated ‘pretty awesome’.
So overall people seem to be warm to the idea but won’t necessarily be overly disappointed if it doesn’t happen. I can’t really say how I’ll feel overall until I’ve actually experienced cross platform gaming but I guess it doesn’t really matter. I like the idea that Sony may only be considering it for certain games and in retrospect, I feel like that would be the best idea.