Cross-platform gaming: hardware politics vs. united playerbases

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Even though I have to live without my PS4 for now, I had no lack of gaming this weekend. My GF and I decided to pick up Final Fantasy XIV. I got a copy for PC, while she bought the PS3 version in the Playstation Store. Since Saturday morning, we’ve been leveling a dynamic duo on the Lich server, marveling at the beauty of the game while learning the ropes together.

What amazes me is first of all how much fun FFXIV is when you have someone to play together with (considering how much I hated the game about a year ago), and second how awesome cross-platform gaming is. The idea that my GF can play on her PS3 while I join her from my PC seems so simple, yet there is a serious lack of games that allow this. Why spread your player base across three or four different platforms, when you could bring them together on shared servers?

I know about the challenges regarding cross-platform play. Especially when it comes to console games, sharing a common server is about more than allowing players to connect to one. It’s about hardware politics. In order to have someone on a PS4 to play together with someone on a Xbox One, Sony and Microsoft would have to connect their services. You think one of the two would be even willing to provide the other with vital information about their network structure? Of course not!

However, thinking as a gamer, any title could only profit from cross-platform play. Considering a game like Destiny is not far away, I would love to play with friends that own a Xbox One. As it stands now, all I can do is talk with them about our experiences. If they ever need an additional man for some group content, my guns will not blaze for their glory. 

The day may come that hardware politics stand no longer in the way of a united player base. Until that day, I will enjoy FFXIV and how it stands for this ideal. Eorzea: a world many platforms can connect to. 

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9 comments

  1. In late beta of FFXIV, my BF actually played with me. A shocker. We don’t play same games at all. That was one of the best times I have had in FFXIV, cause we played together, and it made the experience a lot more fun. He was on PS3 and I was on PC, we played till late hours ❤

  2. it does seem very silly to restrict your players in that way and I would think you’d get a lot more people joining in and purchasing titles if they could play with a friend as well.

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