As soon as console gaming companies could crack the code of online gaming, they knew they had let the genie out of the bottle, changing the gaming industry forever. Like any significant innovation, although the good often outweighs the bad, there are still negatives that can cloud some of the more substantial changes that groundbreaking inventions can bring. Once online gaming had created such a strong name, game designers were already looking ahead to establish where the next piece of creative ingenuity lay, which is where the concept of cross-platform gaming emerged.
What is cross-platform gaming?
Simply put, a cross-platform game transcends the use of a specific console or platform. For instance, if your friend is playing a game on PC and the same title is also available on Xbox, and you want to play with them or against them online, cross-platform gaming technology allows you to do so. And it’s not restricted to PC, Xbox or PlayStation – cross-platform gaming aims to continue to smash down some of the barriers that are in place in certain games so that the communities of people who enjoy those games can grow even closer together.
The internet consistently provides a foundation for gamers to connect, communicate and play their favourite games. Online gaming is a broad spectrum, and it stretches beyond console gaming, incorporating console gaming and free-to-play games you can download on your mobile device. A digital gaming site might cover a gambling provider, a walkthrough for your favourite console game or a news site that keeps current with the news and releases regarding cross-platform gaming and other components that comprise the highly successful sector.
The benefits of cross-platform gaming
Some gaming titles are so famous and synonymous with one console or device that they are almost inextricably linked. Halo for Xbox is the landmark game that helped propel Microsoft into contention with Nintendo and Sony as one of the top names in global gaming. Until this point, Microsoft was notable for providing excellent home computer systems, their iconic and dominant Office packages, and as an effective platform for handy tools such as Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Other games, such as Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty were unimaginably successful, but these games were released for PC, Xbox and PlayStation. If you’re a fan of Grand Theft Auto, the upcoming instalment will be available on all consoles. However, the game leak derailed the project timeline and took the wind out of Rockstar’s sails. The next Grand Theft Auto is one of the most highly anticipated games ever. Although rumours always fly, given the level of anticipation, nobody knows what Rockstar has planned regarding new ideas and marketing strategies.
One idea that will likely feature is cross-platform gaming. Grand Theft Auto has used popular innovations to dominate the field, with each chapter proving to be even more groundbreaking and industry-leading than the last. Cross-platform gaming can enhance the social aspect of online gambling and allow them to cast the net even wider. If you can play such a landmark game across various consoles and platforms, this will considerably enhance gamers’ experience.
Negatives of cross-platform gaming
Microsoft stated that key reasons why they kept Halo native to the Xbox included reducing costs and maximizing creativity by limiting the game to one platform. The exclusivity of a gaming title on one console is a strong argument against cross-platform gaming, especially when the game in question generated over $200 million in profit in one day. In addition to brand exclusivity, the other main factor is that Sony, Xbox and PC gaming all operate using wildly different types of hardware and software.
Many gamers are drawn to one particular way of playing because of the design of the controls, and for any game that stretches into cross-platform gaming, not only is this important but a lot of designers have mentioned how some games can present problems that simply can’t be resolved that easily, so cross-platform gaming is a lot more difficult to implement than what it might initially seem on the surface.
For gamers, cross-platform gaming is more of a positive than a negative. As you can see from our discussion here, many of the problems are issues for designers and brands, not so much for the end user who purchases the game. For the landscape to remain competitive, more gaming companies will likely adapt to this potential new way of gaming, and 10 years from now, it could be the norm for new games in the sector.