The subject of cross-play has gained a lot of new voices in the current generation and the same voices will only get louder once the next generation rolls out.
Fact is that Microsoft was the first to push cross-play on Xbox One. Sony, while citing security concerns among other reasons, chose to remain rigid and stingy, at least at the start. Another fact, and perhaps debatable, is that Microsoft eventually pushed Sony indirectly to mend its stance and embrace cross-play on PlayStation 4 but only slightly.
With the next generation consoles on the horizon, players are already discussing just how important cross-play between PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will and should be. Microsoft, like before, has already taken the lead by confirming that Xbox Series X was built to support cross-play gaming.
Sony Interactive Entertainment seems to have soften up a bit this time around. There are already patents out there that suggest the PlayStation 5 to be built for cross-play gaming as well, but that is no official acknowledgement. What does provide assurances that Sony will be opening doors for cross-play in the next generation actually comes from third-party developers.
Epic Games, for example, has announced Fortnite to feature cross-play between PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, as well as cross-generation support. Fortnite was the first cross-platform game between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and only fitting that the same game sets a similar milestone on next-generation successors. Ubisoft, as another example, will be releasing Rainbow Six Siege on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X with cross-generation support and a wish for cross-play if Sony and Microsoft allow.
Electronic Arts is also set on cross-generation support for FIFA 21 and perhaps other sports games, in addition to cross-play but only if Sony and Microsoft agree. There is Activision as well. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is already enjoying cross-play right now and the plan will naturally be to do the same with a next-generation Call of Duty installment.
There are likely other publishers and developers as well that want to feature both cross-generation and cross-play support on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. While Microsoft has already confirmed its stance, Sony is yet to do so. The silver lining being that unlike before, Sony may possibly choose to be a bit more welcoming and bridge the multiplayer communities on both sides.
PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are set to launch worldwide during the holiday season at the end of the year. Sony is expected to host a reveal event in the coming months. Microsoft, having already revealed its next-generation console, is slated to reveal first-party games around the same time. The subject of cross-play will probably be brought up once acclaimed multiplayer games are put into the spotlight. Suffice to say, cross-play gaming will be a defining milestone of the new generation of consoles.