In a recent and very surprising announcement, Microsoft announced that they would be unlocking their network to allow for cross network online gaming. This is excising news and has been something that a lot of console gamers have been dreaming of for quite a long time. Unfortunately the news has not remained good as it looks like the cross network play might just have to remain a dream.
In a recent interview with Shuhei Yoshida, Eurogamer poked for a little more information on the topic. As we had always suspected, the technical aspect of cross network play isn’t the going to be the hard part, the issue is going to be all the layers of red tape that need to be peeled off before the 2 networks can connect. As Yoshida correctly stated “Because PC is an open platform it’s much more straightforward. Connecting two different closed networks is much more complicated so we have to work with developers and publishers to understand what it is they are trying to accomplish.”.
Shuheis words make a lot of sense and are not really unexpected. He did not say that Sony would never support it, but it does look like this might never happen. Microsofts announcement for cross network play was confirmation that they would now be supporting the same functionality that Sony already support. Playstation was never mentioned in their press release. There is little commercial advantage to Sony and Microsoft to offer this functionality which makes it even less likely.