An incredibly interesting thing has potentially happened. Nintendo is going to allow games on the Wii U to be played multiplayer with other systems. In a feature on Eurogamer, Phil Gaskell, of the indie studio Ripstone, recounted being given permission for cross-play from Nintendo.
Gaskell stated, “We’re launching Pure Chess and Knytt Underground later this year, and on Pure Chess we asked whether we could do cross-platform multiplayer, expecting it to be the typical closed console platform I’ve been used to working with for 20 years. Within a couple of days they said, ‘yep, no problem. You can have other console players playing against Wii U players. You can have smartphone players play against them. No problem.'”
He is also in talks with Sony to allow cross-play, and is hopeful they will open up their system as well. When Pure Chess launches Wii U players will also have 3DS, iOS, and Android players as opponents. Depending on Sony’s response PS4 players will get in on that as well.
On its face this is just a small thing, a chess game will be played across multiple systems. If Nintendo is in fact going to allow cross-play as standard policy then the implications open up a bit. It will expand the potential opponents for anyone playing a game on that system, as the Wii U hasn’t sold very well. If Sony agrees to it as well, then the future could be very interesting indeed.