One frontier too far
Star Trek Online may only have just been announced for its console debut after nearly six years running on PC, but some questions still burn in the minds of veteran PC players wondering what the news might mean for them, and among curious console players looking for a Star Trek fix. One such burning question has been about the possibility of cross-platform play between console and PC, or between PS4 and Xbox One.
Sadly, Perfect World and Cryptic have some unfortunate, but unsurprising news.
According to comments made by Executive Producer Steve Ricossa on the PlayStation Blog, Star Trek Online‘s console editions won’t be featuring cross-platform play, at least not between PC and PS4. The PS4 edition will be running on separate servers from PC. Character transfers from PC to PS4 or vice-versa will also not be allowed, in part to ensure that PS4 captains “start on equal footing”.
While it’s a bummer that Cryptic have opted not to help pioneer the frontier of cross-play, it’s understandable, at least. Star Trek Online on PC has a fully matured economy and player strata, which would make managing some of its systems a pretty hairy prospect if new PS4 players were exposed to it from the off.
There is some good news, though. PWE representatives told me that they plan for the game to follow existing access models for free-to-play games on the console platforms. This means that a PlayStation Plus subscription will NOT be required to play STO on PS4. Sadly for Xbox One players, STO’s Xbox One edition will, like its cousin Neverwinter, require an Xbox Live subscription to play.
That sounds all well and good, though it could be discouraging for PC players looking to dip their toe into PS4 play, since they may not be able to access some of the considerable progress and investment they’ve already made into the PC version. I’m speaking from experience, by the way. Anyway, I’ve reached out to Cryptic and PWE to inquire if some form of account-level unlock transfer or other incentives are planned to encourage existing STO players to try out the console editions.