Why cross-platforming is the future of gaming

Cross-platform gaming is the current trend across the full range of video and online games, and it looks like it’s here to stay. As an increasing number of new games are developed to work across multiple platforms, this will impact both the gaming experience and the way that the industry works. But what exactly is cross-platforming, what are the advantages and difficulties with this approach, and why has its time finally arrived?

What is cross-platforming?

A cross-platform game is simply one that can be played across multiple platforms. Traditionally, most games have been tied to a particular medium or manufacturer. In gaming terms, these platforms include PC, console, tablet and phone. Different brands also constitute different platforms – for instance, Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo consoles, and Android or Apple phones.

Instead of being playable on only one of these formats, a game may have full or partial cross-platform support, meaning that it can be played on all or some of the above media.

Why is cross-platforming taking off now?

Cross-platform games have existed for quite a while and have proven more successful generally than games that are tied to a single platform. In addition, multiplayer games are more profitable than single-player games, and these are best enabled by cross-platforming. The more platforms a game can be played on, the more potential players it has.

The rise of mobile and online gaming, thanks to better mobile broadband connections and the ubiquity of high-end smartphones, has also encouraged cross-platform gaming. The online gambling sector is particularly well-suited to cross-platforming, as players use the casino bonus finder to find the best sites on both mobile and PC.

What are the advantages of cross-platform gaming?

Cross-platform gaming allows for the creation of much larger and more diverse gaming communities. It means a bigger pool of players worldwide, so you can be sure of finding worthy opponents when you want to play online, day or night. When a game no longer requires you to have a particular format to enjoy it, it means wider access for players from around the globe. Shared network libraries also mean a wider choice of games and add-ons for players everywhere.

What are the challenges?

There are obvious technical differences between playing on different platforms. Although technology continues to improve, a phone has clear limitations compared to a PC. These may be compensated for by factors such as convenience and accessibility, but when comparing like for like, these weaknesses become glaringly obvious.

Cross-platform game developers can introduce measures for a better gaming experience all round, but these can cause resentment between users of different platforms. A fine balance has to be managed. Similarly, when a game can be played across different brands, the question arises as to which company is responsible for resolving grievances.

Some major companies have been reluctant to develop games that can be played on hardware sold by their rivals, but the potential profits are now winning them over. Cross-platform gaming is the future, and any developer producing titles that are tied to one console will lose out.

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