PlayStation has lifted ‘beta’ status from the PlayStation 4’s cross-play support, seemingly opening the feature up to developers interested in making their online games playable across platform lines.
Exactly what the change in status means is a little up in the air at the moment; news of full cross-play support comes from a Wired conversation with Sony interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan, and PlayStation has yet to say anything through its own channels on what non-beta support means for developers and games on PlayStation.
According to that Wired story, cross-play support leaving beta means that the system can support the feature “on any titles that studios provide the functionality for,” seemingly meaning that developers can now enable the feature at will, though there’s little clarification beyond that brief mention.
Before, during the beta period for PlayStation 4 cross-play, the company was infamously selective on which games could enable multiplayer across platform lines. The popularity of Epic Games’ Fortnite seemingly helped the company overcome its reluctance, and other games like Rocket League and Dauntless later followed suit.
During that same period of time, a handful of games launched with cross-play compatibility that conspicuously worked across every non-PlayStation 4 platform, and some developers like Wargroove studio Chucklefish publicly said that, despite full cross-play working on their end, PlayStation turned them down.
"From our side, we can literally toggle a switch and have it working,” wrote Chucklefish CEO Finn Brice earlier this year. At launch, Wargroove offered cross-play on Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. “Of course policy work might be more complicated for Sony. Just wanted to provide some balance on the issue and say that it certainly isn't a question of developers having not contacted their account managers or having dropped the ball. We were told no."
With cross-play now out of beta, both PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and, as pointed out by Wired, the upcoming Call of Duty Modern Warfare have included PlayStation 4 cross-play in their online play plans.
We’ve reached out to PlayStation for more details on what developers can expect now that cross-play has left beta and will update following a reply.