As technology advances, the gaming industry innovates alongside it. Over the years, developers have experimented with different technologies to improve the gaming experience.
New technologies allow gamers to connect across platforms and try new games not normally available to them. In particular, cross-platform technology has made waves in the gaming community for its ability to making streaming games a reality.
The Future Is Now
Life before cross-platform technology wasn’t easy. For gamers who didn’t have the same consoles, it was impossible to meet online and play together. Some gamers couldn’t even get their hands on a coveted game if they didn’t have the right console.
Luckily, all those problems have melted away with the help of cross-platform technology, also known as cross-play. Cross-play is a form of multiplayer gaming in which gamers using different platforms can connect and play with each other. The advent of cross-platform technology has presented new opportunities for the global gaming community.
While the age-old PC vs console debate lives on among die-hard gamers, most are excited to see cross-platform technology shape the gaming industry. Some significant changes include accessibility, an expanded player base and streaming services.
Cross-platform technology also benefits developers because it is time and cost-efficient. By focusing on making a game as accessible as possible from the outset, development studios can save resources as they won’t need to write the same game for different consoles. Releasing a game for cross-platform play can allow developers to reach broader markets and gain early momentum.
Below are a few ways that cross-platform technology has improved the gaming industry.
Accessibility and Mobility
Cross-platform technology lets players move out of their comfort zones, particularly for mobile and PC gamers. With the help of cloud technology, players can access their data on any mobile device. Cross-play gives gamers the freedom to play their games anywhere they want.
The iGaming industry has performed best with mobile and PC gamers. Due to the nature of iGaming, it’s easy for developers to create universal gaming mechanics, so their libraries are accessible from several devices, including mobile and PC. This, in turn, has created a seamless experience that many gamers consider irreplaceable.
Many console-based games, however, have yet to fully convert to cross-platform technology, and it will take much longer to happen. Gamers are often loyal to their preferred platforms, so if a company doesn’t convert a game to cross-play, gamers will probably never play it.
Of course, there are exceptions. As seen with the Apple vs Epic Games debacle, Fortnite fans went to extensive lengths to play the game on their Apple devices despite the restrictions. In fact, players used cross-platform technology like the Xbox Cloud Gaming Platform to play Fortnite on their iPhones and iPads.
While cross-platform technology allows gamers to play on several devices, it also enhances the social aspect of gaming. If a group of friends wants to meet up online, cross-platform technology makes that possible. Since games are stored on cloud servers, people can play together regardless of console or location.
Cross-play is especially useful for MMORPGs. In the past, players used to wait a long time for a game to populate with opponents. Now, cross-platform technology gathers various players for a game instantly. With an expanded player base, gamers can make new friends online, compare scores, and create new teams.
Development studios are offering more and more cross-play games, and media companies are catching on. Cross-platform technology relies on software, which makes consoles and other hardware obsolete. Currently, some people have begun to stream games from cloud servers.
Of course, Gaming as a Service (GaaS) is still in its early phases, but several platforms are available for gamers to try out. These services are subscription-based, which is a much more affordable option than buying individual games.
Where Cross-play Needs Improvement
While cross-play has proven helpful for most gamers, developers are still ironing out specific issues, particularly the rift between PC and console users. Console players have noted that PC players can have an unfair advantage in tournament scenarios, because the mouse and keyboard have higher accuracy than controllers.
Each developer handles the issue differently. Epic Games, for example, has made Fortnite a fully cross-platform game, despite the perceived advantages that PC gamers would have. Meanwhile, other developers have separated console and PC players to ensure fairness across the board.
Cross-play has been one of the greatest gaming innovations of the decade. Despite its technical issues, cross-platform technology saves developers time and money. For gamers, it allows them to experiment with new games and connect with people across the world. Soon, gamers can expect a world where streaming is the norm, and perhaps PC and console gamers can also live in harmony.