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Nintendo Experiments With Cross-Platform Multiplayer

by William Schwartz

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Erik Johnson of MCVUK has reported that Nintendo are allowing Ripstone, developers of Pure Chess to implement cross-platform multiplayer on their upcoming Nintendo platform releases.

Historically console gatekeepers like Nintendo, Sony & Microsoft have frowned on such moves unless it is within their own carefully controlled ecosystems but things now seem to be changing.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Phil Gaskell said that they never expected Nintendo to approve their request to have cross-platform multiplayer in Pure Chess but “within a few days” Nintendo had greenlit the idea allowing Wii U gamers to face off against players on other consoles and smartphones.

Nobody else ever expected Nintendo to lead the way with inclusive policies like cross-platform multiplayer and it always seemed like they needed to be dragged kicking and screaming into the networked era of consoles, but the facts speak for themselves.

The change in policy could be in response to the perceived small player bases of some online Wii U games and an effort to make sure that gamers still pick up Wii U titles in the hope that they can play with gamers on competing consoles.

Regardless of Nintendo’s ongoing evolution though, Microsoft and Sony will need to follow suit if we are to see any real benefit from cross-platform multiplayer.

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