The importance of Cross-Platform gaming cannot be overemphasized in the gaming world, as the concept has grown exponentially in the past few years and gamers are becoming more interested in it. With this growth, games do not only support cross-platform interaction because devs have also initiated cross-generation support. It is important you catch up on every one of these improvements, hence your introduction to cross-platform gaming.
Cross-platform gaming allows players to use different video game hardware to play with each other simultaneously on the same video game software using internet connections. With this concept, players on a different video game console can play with other players on the same video software.
With an internet connection, gamers can now interact with each other on the same game while playing on different consoles, laptops, phones, etc. In this article, I will explain the concept of Cross-Platform gaming.
What Is Cross-Platform Gaming?
In simple terms, Cross-Platform gaming gives gamers the ability to play each other on the same gaming software, with different consoles. For example, the ability for different players to play call of duty together is due to cross-platform gaming.
Before the 7th generation video game consoles, video games were originally developed for single consoles. This was because of the unique processing architecture of the consoles as the development for each console is a closed ecosystem that requires additional effort to port to other systems.
Games included multiplayer components, therefore allowing two or more users to play simultaneously on a different computer system with the availability of the internet. Games released for platforms can take advantage of platform-specific networking libraries to accomplish multiplayer gaming. But the games would not be able to be played on different platforms.
This was one of the problems cross-platform gaming was aimed at solving. Now a PC gamer can play the same game with a console gamer.
There are practical limitations that come with cross-platform gaming and one of these limitations is that, whenever a player uses a computer or console to host the game’s server, there could be hardware limitations placed in place to limit the number of players that the server can host, thus hindering cross-platform gaming.
One major factor that impedes cross-platform gaming is the difference in control schemes between personal computers and consoles, with the keyboard and mouse controls giving computer players more edge over other kinds of hardware users.
Cross-platform gaming has some relationship with cross-platform development but both concepts are very different from one another. Cross-platform development uses software languages and tools to enable the deployment of software on multiple platforms.
The ability to allow players to play a game on different hardware platforms, by only having to purchase the title for one single system to be granted access to it on other systems and retaining the progress in the game through the use of cloud storage or some other form of dynamic storage, is a distinctive concept of cross-platform gaming.
How Do You Play Cross-Platform Games?
Playing Cross-platform games is pretty simple. These kinds of games only require that you’re online regularly meaning everything you’ll be doing, including your gaming id and your game progress, is saved on the cloud. Since the internet is a requirement, it could be pretty hard for people that play with low-speed internet to keep up with the actions in the game.
Here are the steps to playing cross-platform games:
Step1: Switch On Your Console Or PC And Make Sure You’re Connected To The Internet
Once your PC or console is turned on, make sure you’re connected to the internet. You can use any form of internet connection although the most preferred is the WiFi. Make sure your network connection is strong too or at least, average.
Step 2: Start Up Your Game
Once you’re connected, you can start up your game. Depending on what kind of game you’re playing, You could be required to log in with your email address
Step 3: Log In With Your Email Address
Depending on the game you’re playing, you could be required to log in with your email at the beginning of the game or after the game has started and before you load your saved progress from the cloud.
Step 4: Load Your Progress From The Game’s Server Or Start A New Game
After logging in with your email, you can decide to load your progress from the game’s server or start a new game
Step 5: Connect With Other Players
Using your ID, the game will connect you to other players irrespective of the kind of gaming hardware these players are using.
All of your game progress, achievements, in-game purchases, in-game skins, etc are saved and linked to a specific ID.
Using Fortnite as a test case here, this is how the process works- To keep playing on the same account, you need to log in with your specific email. The game needs your ID to retrieve your data from the server and display it to you, on the backend. This ID Will also be used to connect you with other players regardless of the device they’re using.
Is Cross-Platform Gaming A Good Idea?
Cross-platform gaming was created with the aim of solving the problems that came with the pre-7th generation gaming consoles, creating a better user experience for gamers and better interaction.
Cross-platform gaming is surely a good idea as a lot of gamers have adopted the gaming concept and are growing with the developments being made within the concept. The community has grown to love playing with other players irrespective of their hardware compared to pre-7th generation gaming systems and their disadvantages.
The only disadvantage with cross-platform gaming is that you need to be online always whenever you want to play a game. And presently, it’s quite known that you can get an internet connection anywhere. All you have to do is to connect to wifi and then kickstart your game with your friends.
With the improvement in the tech industry and the creation of the Metaverse, which is moving most games to Virtual reality and soon enough, augmented reality, we are sure to see more upgrades with cross-platform gaming hence, the sooner you adopt the concept, the better it is for you because you don’t want to be left out in the technology advancement and gaming experience coming in the next couple of years.
Cross-platform gaming is also an avenue for you to meet new people and make new friends. Depending on the type of person you are, you could enjoy gaming with other people, nee people mostly, and make them your gaming buddies.
Do PC Players Have An Advantage In Cross-Play?
The difference in control schematics between PC players and other kinds of hardware players has been seen to give PC players more advantage due to its keyboard and mouse controls. These controls typically give computer players an advantage that cannot be remedied.
Computers with keyboard and mouse controls on PCs generally give a significant advantage in games that require aiming and shooting, like first-person shooters, over the analog controllers for consoles. To reduce this advantage, developers subsequently developed gaming features such as “aim assist” to help console gamers play better and also make up for the absence of precision controls for console gamers.
Do Other Platforms Have An Advantage In Cross-playing?
It depends on the control system of each platform. Some platforms do have advantages over others just as gamers that play using the PC, have advantages over gamers that play using consoles. But these advantages only work with gamers who are aware of them and can use them to their own advantage.
Hence, if a gamer who knows how to use the console very well meets an amateur pc gamer who doesn’t know how to use the PC’s advantage for himself, then the former is more at an advantage than the latter.
What’s The Difference Between Cross-Platform Gaming And Cross-play?
Both of these terms can be mistaken for one another in gaming as they seem very similar. Both concepts allow gamers to play with their friends, independent of the hardware used by them. The difference is, some games allow full cross-platform action while others only allow specific cross-play features for instance, between PlayStation and PC.
Cross-play has shown that games can be played with the multiplayer feature, across different platforms, while the cross-platform gaming concept was primarily used to indicate that a game is being released for multiple platforms which is no longer the case anymore.
Why Aren’t All Games Cross-Platform?
The major reason why a lot of games aren’t cross-platform is because of the imbalances with input devices. Especially for shooter games, there are a lot of imbalances with input devices even with the aim assist nonsense that was created to level the advantage PC gamers get with other gamers with different consoles, the games are still unbalanced with keyboard gamers having more advantage.
There are also differences in rights and customer policies of these platforms hence the pullback with games not being cross-platform. For instance, Sony can’t take action against Xbox when there are abusive behaviors.
Nonetheless, there are a lot of games that are Cross-platform. Here’s a list of the best cross-platform games.