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The One Problem GTA 6 Has To Fix

Finally, after years of speculation, we seemingly have confirmation that Grand Theft Auto 6 is, indeed, on its way. Now that we know the game is happening, fans can begin doing what gamers like to do more than anything: speculate on the game's content and what they'd like to see when it finally arrives. With that in mind, ScreenRant's Hayes Madsen has made a solid point regarding one thing that GTA 6 may need to implement before anything else: cross-platform play.

In this day and age, gamers are spoiled for choice when it comes to the console they'd prefer to play a given game on. Grand Theft Auto 5 is currently available for Xbox and PlayStation family consoles, as well as PC. However, despite the fact that this high profile title has been out for more than half a decade, GTA fanatics are still unable to play with one another unless they're using the same platform.

Unfortunately, the addition of cross-play isn't ultimately up to Rockstar. While Microsoft and Nintendo have been open to supporting the feature, Sony has a spottier record. It was a complete surprise when Sony decided to support the cross-play features in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Other games like Fortnite and Rocket League have been enabled for play across all three platforms. Still, there are titles like Wargroove that don't have the feature turned on, which makes it seem as though Sony is still acting as a gatekeeper when it comes to which games get cross-play and which don't.

There is currently a petition on Change.org to bring the feature to GTA 5, and it has nearly 3,000 signatures. If Rockstar wants Grand Theft Auto 6 to support cross-play, then the biggest hurdle to overcome is going to be Sony.

There are also potential drawbacks to allowing cross-play, of course. Fortnite has run into an unfortunate controversy regarding the differences in how the game controls when using a gamepad controller vs. a keyboard and mouse. In Fortnite, players using a controller on PC can get an adjustable "aim assist" that helps smooth out the aiming and firing process, which is seen by many to be something of a cheat.

That same assistance is available to console players who are mostly forced to use controllers. Noted Fortnite streamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins has gone back and forth on this exact subject in the past, but has most recently spoken against the aim assist for controller users. In fact, he essentially compared them to hacking tools commonly used by cheaters in competitive shooters like Fortnite. 

In a series of tweets, Ninja said, "Just played with a controller on PC for the second time in two days. I have competed in several games at a competitive level on both controller and mouse and keyboard ... You cannot tell me that with 100% strength aim assist and linear settings that using a controller isn't aimbot."

In other words, gamers using a gamepad have been seen to have a significant advantage over other players. If Grand Theft Auto 6 ends up embracing some form of cross-play, then Rockstar will have to keep that in mind. Console players will more often than not use a controller, and some PC players will also prefer a gamepad over keyboard and mouse. That'll undoubtedly present some balancing issues when players on different platforms face off on the streets of whatever locale GTA 6 is based in.

Still, there's a lot to be gained from enabling cross-play when Grand Theft Auto 6 arrives. As ScreenRant points out, matchmaking would be significantly quicker. It's not often that you find a totally empty lobby in GTA Online, but it does occasionally happen. With everyone able to play in the same sandbox, you're much less likely to have a long wait on your hands.

With the amount of money being put into the PlayStation 5, hopefully Sony will see that opening GTA 6 up to more of a community experience could be a good thing in the long run. Then again, maybe Rockstar isn't so worried about it after all. As one Redditor implies in a discussion on GTA cross-play, there may be too much money to be made in letting customers buy multiple copies of a game for multiple consoles.

There's still a lot that we don't know about Grand Theft Auto 6. However, we can hold out hope that the next console generation will embrace cross-play so that players can run heists with all of their cohorts at once.