How Portal 2 "opened the portal" to Cross-Platform play

Portal Sean

If there’s one thing (among many) Fortnite has successfully achieved in its reign as the top battle royale game of all time, it’s an incredibly wide player base across different systems. More miraculously, players on any system are able to play together in a large triumph of cross-platform play. Sony was the last to be on board with their system connecting with other systems this generation, but did you know that they are responsible for one of the big steps in pushing cross-platform play to where it is today?

In the early 2000s, online play on consoles was only just beginning its potential, but Sony managed to allow Final Fantasy XI players to play, not only an MMORPG on a console, but with PC players as well, and later the Xbox 360 version when it was released later on. This trend carries on to today, as Final Fantasy XIV players can play on both systems with little hassle. It’s the standard today for MMORPGs to be cross-platform with at least a single console and a PC. This is why 2011’s Portal 2 stands out among these as one of the first non-MMO to receive the cross-platform treatment.

In 2011, Sony introduced limited Steam compatibility with the PlayStation 3. Unfortunately, only one title really utilized this feature, and that was the highly anticipated Portal 2. To promote this service, anyone that purchased Portal 2 on the PlayStation 3 also received a download code for the Steam version of the game. Portal 2 was also the first (and only) title in the series to include a co-op mode. This could be played locally, or through online play. Since I had a physical disc and a decent computer to run the game on, I used this to my advantage to play this co-op mode.

My friend had my Portal 2 disc in his PS3 from home, while I had my computer running the downloaded version. Despite being the first non-MMORPG title to take advantage of this system, it worked incredibly well. The way it was set up almost encouraged us to play co-op this way, as we were now able to get our own set of achievements more easily.

Portal 2’s co-op mode was a different beast entirely, but it was a welcome pioneer in both co-op puzzle games and FPS cross-platform capabilities. It may be a long time before we even dream of a Portal 3 release, but for now, hanging out with Atlas and Peabody is the best we can do.

If you’re still playing co-op in Portal 2, why not play co-op in real life with our new Portal-inspired design? Check it out below!

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