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Rocket League dev: PS4 cross-platform play is done, Sony just needs to say yes

“Right now it’s just a political barrier”

The goal for the Switch version of Rocket League is to have it feel like it does on every other platform. Developer Psyonix is hoping to get the game running at 60 fps in both the Switch’s docked and undocked mode, running at 720p. The performance of the game, the developer argues, is more important than pure visual fidelity.

They also want every player on every platform to be able to play against each other. And right now the only company keeping that from happening is Sony. So what’s holding it up?

“The honest answer is PlayStation has not yet granted us permission,” Jeremy Dunham, VP of publishing at Psyonix, told Polygon. “We are hopeful that being able to play cross network is still something we can go for, we think we’ve been big champions of this for the last two years trying to get people behind the idea ... we believe it’s the future of the industry, and we’re hopeful that maybe the community and the media can actually help get around the idea of pushing it forward and doing what we can to make it reality. It’s our dream.”

They’re trying to make it as easy on players and the platform holders as possible. “We run all the servers,” Dunham stated. “The way that it works is we connect everyone through our own system, we handle everything ourselves.” So far Microsoft had the highest and “most complex” requirements for security, so meeting those barriers made it easier to deal with the requirements of the other platforms. The hard work has been done.

So why would Sony tell them no?

“I wish I had the answer to that,” Dunham said. “The only thing that we know is that we can’t do it yet. I can tell you this: From Psyonix, we would do whatever we would need to do to make it possible to be cross-network play with all the other platforms and PlayStation 4. They just need to tell us what that is.”

He’s hoping the PlayStation community is loud enough about wanting this to happen that Sony decides to let it happen. Cross-platform play, including the PlayStation 4, could happen today if Sony told them they could do it.

“It’s literally something we could do with a push of a button, metaphorically,” Dunham told Polygon. “In reality it’s a web page with a checkbox on it. All we have to do is check that box and it would be up and running in less than an hour all over the world. That’s all we need to do.”

Microsoft, sensing a bit of blood in the water, has already turned cross-platform play into a bit of a talking point.

It would be a great thing for Rocket League, since the game continues to grow and more players means a bigger community and better competition. Multiplayer games would fill up even quicker. Players would be brought together instead of being kept apart. Microsoft and Nintendo are comfortable with it, but Sony is not.

“Technically it’s possible,” Dunham said. “There are no technical limitations. Right now it’s just a political barrier we need to help figure out how to crack.”

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