gdc 2016

Sony Says Universal Cross-Platform 'All About What The Developers And Publishers Want'

by Mike Futter on Mar 15, 2016 at 02:17 PM

Yesterday, Rocket League developer Psyonix caused a stir when Microsoft announced cross-platform play for the game on Xbox One and PC. While that feature has been present in other games, the excitement here is that the PlayStation 4 edition also supports cross-platform play with PC.

Because of the common pool that PC players will live in, many have been hypothesizing that the wall between PlayStation Network and Xbox Live might be coming down. It's a bit early to ask Mr. Yoshida to tear down that wall, but we did find out more from Sony about its perspective on the situation.

I had the chance to catch up with Adam Boyes, vice president of publisher and developer relations at Sony here at GDC. As expected, Boyes and Sony aren't ready to jump on a commitment having just found about the Rocket League announcement.

"For us, it's not a new thing," Boyes said, referring to cross-platform play between PlayStation and PC. "If you go back to PS3 days, we had Dust 514 tied into EVE Online. Paragon is PS4/PC cross-play, and so is Street Fighter V. There are a ton of games that have had it. Portal 2 had Steam integration, and we've had other games that have allowed you to import your Xbox save content on PlayStation, like Diablo III and Grand Theft Auto V."

However, Boyes views the decision to tie PlayStation Network into other user communities as, in part, a content-owner decision. This would be the call in the developer's or publisher's hands.

"We're always open to stuff like that," Boyes continued. "It's all about what the developers and publishers want to do. They get in touch with us and handle everything on a case by case basis."

There are technical concerns to be addressed, though. Sony still hasn't had time to investigate how this would work.

"I think we have to analyze what the impact is going to be and how the handoff works," he explained. "Our publishers know their business very well, so we always want to look at those opportunities."