Having spent several hours getting to grips with Defiance, it's clear that Trion's ambitious cooperative MMO shooter currently allows for smooth cross-platform play between PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. However, Microsoft and Sony aren't willing to set aside their bitter rivalry for long enough to make it work at launch - if ever.
"There will not be cross-platform play," Trion Worlds Senior Producer Robert Hill told us during a lengthy interview scheduled for publication later today. "We do it right now."
"You can see all the PS3s and PCs," he continued, gesturing at the trestles full of preview stations. "They are playing on the same server. Every day, we play Xbox 360, PS3 and PC together. Unfortunately, at launch, Microsoft and Sony aren't really friendly with each other so they won't let us do that cross-platform play."
Another source, who prefers to remain anonymous, told us that Trion discussed the notion of creating PS3 versus Xbox 360 PvP matches in order to stir up a entertaining rivalry.
Considering that Defiance uses a single compatible build designed to work scalably across all three platforms, it's galling that manufacturer malice will stymie what could have been a new precedent in multiplayer gaming. Still, Defiance is shaping up to be incredibly ambitious as is, seeing as events in the game will feed back into a simultaneously-running TV show on the Syfy channel.