Cross-platform gaming is all the rage right now. It’s become a staple feature in today’s inter-connected gaming ecosystem where so many games are blossoming and focusing on multiplayer content. It only makes sense that if a multiplayer game on various consoles allows players to go online and play with others, why not play with others on other consoles? Well, even Blizzard Entertainment is getting in on the digs and there’s talks about Diablo 3 getting cross-platform play… eventually.
Given that the game is going to be available on a total of seven different platforms once it launches on the Nintendo Switch starting November 2, that means that you can play Diablo 3 on seven different devices with seven completely different gaming communities. It does make sense that the company would want to collate and condense the amount of separate servers running for the game, and just have everyone playing together on the same server.
It made sense last gen to keep things separate because the architecture for a lot of the games were set up separately between the systems. PS3 and Xbox 360 gamers likely couldn’t play together because they ran at different frame-rates, sometimes at different resolutions, and obviously had different pros and cons on how multi-platform games ran on the specific hardware. It was also technically impossible to get a lot of Wii U games to run par the course with Xbox 360 or PS3 titles given that usually those ports were completely different.
For today’s generation of gaming, things are a little different. The architecture between the Xbox One and PS4 share a lot of similarities, so much so that ports are no longer as big an issue as they were during the sixth and seventh generation of gaming, and due to cloud engineering it’s also possible to have lower-end hardware like the Switch or mobile phones play with other players on higher-end hardware.
Companies like Epic Games have been vying for cross-platform compatibility, especially after it was originally implemented into the Battle Royale rendition of the third-person shooter Fortnite. However, last year Sony was vehemently against the idea of cross-platform play, much like how Microsoft was against cross-platform play back during seventh gen.
It took a whole year and a whole lot of pressure from the gaming community to finally get Sony to bend the knee and allow companies to implement cross-platform play between PS4 and other home consoles.
Now that Sony has given the go-ahead, and with Microsoft and Nintendo on board with with the idea, it looks like Blizzard Entertainment will be taking advantage of the opportunity for Diablo 3. Despite being six years old, I imagine plenty of gamers would love to hop back into the dark and violent world if they could play with a few friends from across various platforms. All we need to know now is when the feature will arrive.