I know it’s hard to see it from the other side. Your stuff has been locked and there’s no sign that it will ever be freed. However, let us try. A company wants your loyalty, more than your money. If they have your loyalty they have the freedom to fail, and to change, while also maintaining your support and to spend money on that platform. These policies are to ensure this. Yes, they are constrictions and need to change, but that’s why they are there. Not to hurt you, not to steal your things, but to keep you coming back. Up until now, these policies were invisible but unknown to us because every game and platform was separated by online walls. There were no negative effects to these rules because of it. They are spread across all games and all platforms, until now. With developers pushing cross gameplay and progression, companies where faced with a choice: conform and allow it, or stand their ground and maintain their community.
PlayStation is in the process of this choice now. In the past, Sony didn’t want to allow this. Not for the reason to hurt players, but for fear that they would lose you to another platform. So when games like Rocket League and Minecraft were pushing cross gameplay, Sony was saying no. This is how the top console thinks, that if you aren’t on their platform they are failing. Xbox 360 was the same last generation. Although this generation they had nothing to lose. Xbox was open to this idea. They allowed themselves to cross game with PC and mobile like Sony, but they also allowed for a cross game with a competitor: Nintendo. Nintendo had just come out with the Switch and was worried of a repeat of the Wii U so they were open to many things to get big third party games on their platform. This is where Sony faltered, but they didn’t fail. Soon gamers forgot about the topic and Sony re-emerged on top seemingly unharmed. This was until Fortnite came to the Switch. It’s funny how no one cared when Xbox was the only one excluded from cross gameplay with PlayStation, but since the Switch, it is all anyone can talk about. This in a way proves Sony’s fear. Everyone now wants to jump from PlayStation to play on Switch, and they are. What Sony thought would be rules to keep you on their system has only driven players away, and they know it. As a Sony fan, it is a double-edged sword. On one hand, I don’t want them to back down, to hold their ground and maintain a very loyal PlayStation fan base. But on the other hand, I very much want cross gameplay and I do feel Sony is wrong and needs to change.
It’s hard to know what Sony will do. It is hard for me to picture a world in which Sony doesn’t give in to demands to maintain their popularity. Although this argument really got me thinking: what does the future of gaming look like? If Sony gives in, then the future looks slightly sad in my opinion. I see a world where it doesn’t matter what system you buy because all of your friends will be there. A world that there is no longer engaged in commotion with game consoles because they all have to meet certain specifications to communicate with each other. A world where the only thing separating systems are the exclusive games. I personally like the fighting between which system is better, or which controller is perfect. This isn’t why I game, but it’s a large part of my passion for gaming. Trying to explain my opinion, not to change yours but so you can see my point of view. I will miss the meaningless and sometimes violent console wars. These arguments give me the same joy as when I watch my favorite sports team. This isn’t gaming, I know this. Gaming is about the game. However, the competition is why the game is so good. The drive to be best, and in a world that doesn’t have a number one console what are you striving to be best on?