The console space has always been quite an exclusive environment, even in this day and age of interconnectedness, with each machine having their own servers for online play. There have been very few games that have dared reach out to the other side, and one new game from Japan may very well be breaking the barrier: Tekken 7.
Specifically, in an interview with the creator of Tekken 7 – Katsuhiro Harada – at E3 2016, posted on Reddit, a tough question was posed: Will cross-play become a reality? Katsuhiro’s answer were decidedly vague, yet offers a glimmer of hope for groups of friends who are split on two sides of the battle zone: cross-play is not technically difficult, and it’s on the board for consideration. Nevertheless, there are a few things the developer will have to consider regarding the feature.
The first is about “policies”, in other words, console makers’ willingness to allow cross-play to happen. Microsoft overall have been pretty cool about the whole prospect, with Xbox executives consecutively going on the record as close as April this year to profess the One’s readiness for such an occasion; in fact, Microsoft even reportedly extended an invitation to interested networks to connect to Xbox Live, PlayStation Network included. Sony, on the other hand, have been mum about it, and it might be a while yet before the competitiveness cool off enough to benefit the players.
The second point of consideration, surprisingly, concerns a third, non-console platform. Yes, we are talking about the PC. Doing cross-play with PC is even easier than doing it between console according to Katsuhiro, due to the open nature of the platform. It is this openness, however, that also pose a challenge: it creates loopholes for cheaters to ruin the gaming experience for everyone – a pain point for any online PC games in general, that will also badly affects cross-play console gamers. Ultimately, it will be up to the gaming community to decide if cross-play should be implemented, Katsuhiro said.
This may also mean that, whether Tekken 7 will join Microsoft’s newly-announced Xbox Play Anywhere program – cross-play and cross-buy between Xbox and Windows – or not, remains on the table. We have to say, however, that a fighting game would be the perfect venue for cross platform together fun. Also, with Street Fighter 5 going the PS4-PC exclusive route, there may well be a potential opening for Tekken 7 to become the “all gamers’ champion” and retake the spot of the King of fighting games it once had, if cross-play becomes a reality. Stay tuned for more exciting Tekken 7 and Xbox news in the future.