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#1 Edited by p_robo (4 posts) -

Enjoyed the bombcast, but I've got to disagree with Adam Boyes on the cross-platform play. There are hurdles sure, the developer would have to figure out a way for players on different consoles to find each other in-game so friends can play together, perhaps chat etc. But saying its hard to see the benefit for the consumer seems really weird to me. Some residual Sony PR reflex or something? Even if it just provides another pool of strangers for us to play against and gives our multiplayer game a longer life, that's great for us surely.. I think it'd work great for the most popular multiplayer games like CoD and Rocket League.

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#2 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (5957 posts) -

Here's the real issue. Let's say I own a PS4, and I meet someone who is also a console gamer. It's twice as likely that they're going to have a PS4 than it is an Xbox One. That's how darn much MS has fallen during this console generation.

Now, let's say I don't have a console, but I think the Xbox One looks better than the PS4. On the other hand, I have two friends who also have an Xbox One, and five friends who own a PS4. For the sake of argument, let's say I mainly care about Call of Duty and a few multiplatform sports titles. I want to play with my friends, so which console do I buy?

If there's no cross-platform play, there's a good chance I go with the PS4. If I can play with all my friends on whatever console I want, of course I'd go with the Xbox One. This is why I'm highly doubtful that we will ever see cross-console play in this or any other year. It only stands to benefit MS, and hurt Sony. This situation would pretty much always benefit the company not doing as well, and hurt the company who has better sales.

It's in Sony's best interest to make sure this never happens, and it's in Microsoft's best interest to encourage it.

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#3 Posted by ez123 (2145 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac: I don't think the OP would disagree with any of that but isn't all of that besides the point? I skipped around this podcast but if Boyes really said "it's hard to see the benefit," then he was talking nonsense.

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#4 Edited by p_robo (4 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac I totally agree with you, I think that's Sony's reasoning too. You remove some of the impetus for someone to buy your console if they can play with their friends regardless. Although you also remove a reason for someone to jump ship from your console to another, if they can already play with their friends who own a different console. But man we should all be on the same page that its nothing but good for the consumer, right?

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#5 Posted by IVDAMKE (1420 posts) -

I think Boyes missed the mark a bit in that discussion in regards to the consumer, especially considering what cross-platform play has done for Street Fighter V with PS4/PC. When I actually bothered to play Ranked in that game probably 80% of the people I vs'd were PS4 users all on their bloody wifi with the remaining being PC users. If PC players could only connect to PC users that game would be dead already. That being said what @spaceinsomniac says certainly does ring true because if the PC version wasn't cross platform I wouldn't have bought it. Instead I would have opted for the PS4 version possibly buying the PC version on sale down the road.

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#6 Edited by OurSin_360 (4466 posts) -

Pc online is basically always cross platform lol, you'd be hard pressed to find many gamers with the exact same rig. And i think it works just fine.

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#7 Posted by TViddy (102 posts) -

Well when the 360 was kicking the PS3 around Microsoft said "nah son" for cross platform play. Now that PS4 is up 2:1 what's the incentive for Sony? Like Wu-Tang said "C.R.E.A M".

On a lighter note I could rack up multiplayer achievements/trophies playing against myself.

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#8 Edited by FlashFlood_29 (3425 posts) -

@oursin_360: PC is as much cross-platform in your sense as different models of Xbox360s are cross-platform. PC is one platform. To say PC and Mac players can play together would be a better comparison of cross-platform play but even then, there isn't an online service(s) to sell to players by the owners of the platforms, nor are there major exclusives competing to draw players between PC and Mac.

Edit: Actually, I can only assume you're being sarcastic for such a silly comparison.

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#9 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (5957 posts) -

@tviddy said:

Well when the 360 was kicking the PS3 around Microsoft said "nah son" for cross platform play. Now that PS4 is up 2:1 what's the incentive for Sony? Like Wu-Tang said "C.R.E.A M".

On a lighter note I could rack up multiplayer achievements/trophies playing against myself.

Is that accurate? Did Sony once ask for cross platform play, and MS said no?

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#10 Posted by p_robo (4 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac: I'm pretty sure it's not, just because Sony would've been quick to bring that up when MS announced their ideas. I really, really hope this comes to pass one day, and I'd like to think that with the consoles getting closer and closer to PCs, its perhaps inevitable. But it was a big bummer to hear someone like Adam Boyes, an influence in the industry and newly independent from Sony at that, not getting it.

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#11 Posted by mems1224 (1625 posts) -

Cross platform play is only a good thing for consumers and developers. A couple of developers have already said that they've worked everything out and that they're just waiting on Sony to sign off. The fact that Sony is refusing to play ball just because they have a massive console lead is really anti-consumer and short sighted.

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#12 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (5957 posts) -

@mems1224 said:

Cross platform play is only a good thing for consumers and developers. A couple of developers have already said that they've worked everything out and that they're just waiting on Sony to sign off. The fact that Sony is refusing to play ball just because they have a massive console lead is really anti-consumer and short sighted.

I really do despise almost anything anti-consumer, but when doing something pro-consumer is going to directly benefit your largest competitor, I can forgive Sony for being anti-consumer there. I've called out Sony for anti-consumer BS in the past--and I'm sure I'll do so in the future--but this I can accept.

And yes, we are on the same page that it would be great for the consumer. Welcome to Giant Bomb, btw.

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#13 Posted by TViddy (102 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac: I recall this discussion on a bombcast quite a few years back. The long and short was why would MS do it. Now the shoe's on the other foot. I tried to do some digging but most articles are about the recent announcement from MS.

I did find this from 2011.

http://kotaku.com/5813740/i-saw-the-playstation-3-wired-to-play-against-an-xbox-360-but-you-wont

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#14 Posted by Darth_Navster (763 posts) -

All this discussion of cross platform play has got me thinking; would it benefit consumers for the market to only have one console? I mean, competition is nice, but there's already plenty of that coming from the PC space. Compare that with the drawbacks of dealing with exclusives and being cordoned off from playing with your friends, perhaps video games would be better without the console competition. Just a thought.

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#15 Posted by hermes (2254 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac: Not in as many words, but there was always the issue that Sony was a lot more open to the idea of making games play with different platforms during the PS3 era. That was the reason for the (admittedly shortlived) interaction between PS3 and Steam. Microsoft, on the other hand, had a lot of clauses in their agreements to prevent other manufacturers from getting the upper hand, like not allowing indie games unless they were released simultaneously on XBLA than on PSN or Steam.

I don't agree with Boyes, but I think he is right about it. Cross platform is a hassle for console manufacturers (that have to make available a lot of their infrastructure and make changes to support it), and developers (who have to develop it, and whose QA becomes exponentially more complex), and they are not actually motivated, especially when one of them dominates the market.

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#16 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3167 posts) -

@darth_navster: If you ever want to look at why competition is more than just "nice" take a look at the shitshow that is the monopoly that ISP's and mobile service providers have in the US. Locations where they literally don't have to give a shit how bad of a raw deal you're getting because they're you're only option.

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#17 Posted by Darth_Navster (763 posts) -

@jesus_phish: Let me preface this that I am in no way advocating for a single console, just considering it as more of a thought exercise.

The way I see it, wouldn't the growth of the PC market act as a competitor for the hypothetical single console? Sure, you're probably not going to get such great deals on console bundles any more, but as total cost of ownership, that's a drop in the bucket compared to how much you'll pay for games in a system's life. And games themselves would presumably continue to be discounted given that publishers are not competing against other platforms, but instead are competing against other games. Maybe a good compromise would be for all console makers to build to a common spec that all games can run on and compete on ancillary features?

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#18 Posted by hermes (2254 posts) -

@darth_navster: Consoles this generation (excluding Wii U) are already based on a common architecture... they are mostly specialized PCs. That is the reason why we don't see big gaps in features on games released on several platforms like we did in previous generations.

Even then, Cross play difficulties are not related to hardware, but differences in software (like codecs, security protocols, etc) or infrastructure... or, as you call them: ancillary features. Take that away, and different consoles are pretty much the same things with different stickers.

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#19 Posted by Darth_Navster (763 posts) -

@hermes: Fair point. I realize that I'm hijacking this thread so I'll stop posting for now.

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#20 Edited by OurSin_360 (4466 posts) -

@flashflood_29: if you mean only windows pcs you still would have to take into account different os types (versions of windows) as well so its not its silly comparison at all. Not even factoring in linux based pcs or macs, its about net code more than os type.

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#21 Posted by hermes (2254 posts) -

@darth_navster: I don't think you are. I just want to point out that, even if they were the same hardware, interconnecting them would not be trivial... there are a lot of factors to take into account, and they have to be solved by the console manufacturers, which are not motivated to do it.

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#22 Edited by hermes (2254 posts) -

@oursin_360: And codecs, network transport protocols, transfer protocols, application protocols, format protocols, encryption, authentication, authorization, firewalls, APIs, data types, etc...

It is not an easy job, a lot has happened to make PCs, even virtually identical PCs, able to talk to one another. And there were extra issues: they build it from the ground up and were motivated to make it work...

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#23 Posted by ez123 (2145 posts) -

@tviddy said:

Well when the 360 was kicking the PS3 around Microsoft said "nah son" for cross platform play. Now that PS4 is up 2:1 what's the incentive for Sony? Like Wu-Tang said "C.R.E.A M".

On a lighter note I could rack up multiplayer achievements/trophies playing against myself.

That would make sense if the 360 was ever kicking the PS3 around.

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#24 Edited by TViddy (102 posts) -

@ez123: http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/NPD_Seventh_generation

It was for the longest time. Mind you ps3 did catch up towards the end, most likely due to the bluray player support. Software sales on 360 were also larger than ps3. The wii kicked the crap out of both of them though. Also I believe more people where on xbox live rather than psn back then.

Ultimately it's a business and I wouldn't expect to see a market leader do anything that may help out their competition.

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#25 Posted by FlashFlood_29 (3425 posts) -

@oursin_360: if you want to only talk about the tech ical aspect sure but there is a bussiness side that you're ignoring. It's not just "pc's are 'cross platform' consoles should be as well."

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#26 Edited by Chaser324 (8080 posts) -

While it would be nice to give developers the option, I think the benefit is probably pretty limited for all involved. Certainly the consumers could benefit from it, but I don't think there's much to gain for the developers/publishers and platform holders.

The games that would benefit the most from this, the smaller games with smaller audiences, are probably the least likely to be able to justify the extra cost of developing the feature and then paying to run and maintain independent matchmaking/game servers. On the other end of things, while bigger developer/publishers may be able to afford to do it for a successful game, those games will probably have a big enough player base on any given platform that it would be hard to justify the expense.

I think the lack of any benefit to platform holders has already been sufficiently touched upon by other commenters in this thread.

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#27 Posted by mems1224 (1625 posts) -

@chaser324: I bet they guys at turtle rock and gearbox would disagree with you

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#28 Posted by Chaser324 (8080 posts) -

@mems1224 said:

@chaser324: I bet they guys at turtle rock and gearbox would disagree with you

I don't think you can say that for sure. Those guys do fall into the camp where they could probably afford to do it. However, it's uncertain if it would've actually improved the sales of Evolve or Battleborn by a significant amount. In the case where it doesn't lead to more sales, you're now in a position where you've spent more time/money on a lost cause.

The only thing we can say for sure is that it would've improved things for the people that did buy the game. We can't say that it would've led to substantially more sales.

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#29 Posted by ez123 (2145 posts) -

@tviddy: NPD is US only. Plus they didn't allow cross-play with Steam. Was that because XBL was destroying it in numbers?

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#30 Posted by mems1224 (1625 posts) -

@chaser324: Bigger communities means games don't die out as fast which could persuade someone to buy the game at a discount down the line which only grows the community and potentially sells more DLC. You don't even have to implement cross platform chat or invites. Games like rocket league and sfv prove that even just having more people to play against can make a difference in how its perceived and how much developers are willing to support it down the line.

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#31 Edited by TViddy (102 posts) -

@ez123: I don't know. Why do you think MS didn't allow cross play with Steam?

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#32 Posted by Chaser324 (8080 posts) -

@mems1224: I think you're maybe overstating how much cross-platform play actually stands to improve sales. It's certainly almost always beneficial to players and will extend the tail a little bit on sales, but I just can't see it having any significant impact in most cases. Great multiplayer games are going to sell well and have a healthy player base regardless and lower tier games are going to sell poorly and drop off in player population quickly.

I really think both RL and SFV would've sold just as well without the cross-platform play, and they both have player bases large enough on any given platform to sustain the game.

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#33 Posted by TViddy (102 posts) -

@ez123: also I would like to see the numbers for sales internationally on a yearly basis if you happen to have them. Not to flame but I am curious.

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#34 Posted by TViddy (102 posts) -

Huh, guess I was wrong. From the way it was portrayed I always figured the 360 was the king.

http://www.statista.com/statistics/276768/global-unit-sales-of-video-game-consoles/

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#35 Posted by ArtisanBreads (8086 posts) -

I think it is a good thing as well and would work well for some people. For example I would love to play games with my brother some co-op but I'm on PC and he is on consoles. Maybe that isn't a big thing to sell a lot of games but it would affect me for sure.

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#36 Posted by cmblasko (2386 posts) -

Absolutely would be great for consumers. I would buy more games if cross play was common. Not sure why Adam Boyes thinks there's no benefit, couldn't really wrap my head around what he was saying.

Programmers have been making different pieces of hardware talk to each other over a network for decades so I don't really care about the technical hurdles.

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#37 Posted by giliad (42 posts) -

Slightly off-topic but now that MC have been outperformed by Sony this generation do you see them successfully closing or gaining ground with the new gee action of consoles or will Sony's now superior reputation precede them?