Sony’s Cross-Play Capability Will Connect Gamers Everywhere

In less than a month, Sony’s PlayStation Vita will be hitting the Western markets, much to the gaming populous’ anticipation.  Sony’s next generation handheld has received a lot of hype about its added features over the existing PSP, such as the rear touch pad, dual analog sticks, front and rear cameras, and the Six-Axis Motion Sensor.  These are all very exciting additions indeed, but there’s one that truly places Sony above its competition in the innovation department, and has received far less emphasis than it should have.  And what is this understated aspect?  The cross-platform capability, of course!

Gaming is no longer just something to do over the weekend or after school/work with your friends; it’s become integrated into our modern life.  Games are everywhere: at home, on the go with laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.  Due to the continuous improvements to technology, playing on portable devices is now on par with home consoles, as you now have Wi-Fi to allow you to play with friends, HD screens that provide clearer pictures, and system capabilities that give you a similar gameplay experience – just on a much smaller screen.

Sony’s leveraged the new technology and has taken the next logical step forward: the ability to cross-play.  What does this mean?  Well, people who own both the PlayStation 3 and Vita will now be able to play certain games on the go, save their progress to the Cloud, and then pick up where they left off on their home console (or vice versa).  This means that now you don’t have to own the same type of console your friends do in order to play against or with them, no matter where you are.  For example, say a father is travelling on business and has a PS Vita.  At home, his son’s playing on his PlayStation 3.  No longer are they limited to keeping in touch over the phone or chatting/Skyping on their computers – they can play a game together.

Sure, in the past you had the ability to play against friends using online multiplayers.  Rumour had it that even Microsoft was considering cross-platform play between the Xbox 360 and PC.  However, Sony’s cross-play capability has lifted a restriction that we didn’t necessary give much attention to: portable vs. home consoles.  The concept is so simple that it’s truly astounding that Nintendo hasn’t announced this ability for their gaming devices.  In fact, it’s surprising that Nintendo didn’t put some extra money into R&D to make their WiiU controller their new portable device.  But that’s a soapbox for a different day.

With cross-play, Sony can truly call itself innovative.  They’ve taken that extra step to bringing people closer in the gaming community, breaking down a barrier that we had in the past believed was a given.  It’ll be interesting to see if the other two big name companies will follow suit.


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