Speaking with German publication PC Games.de
(site is in German, but video interview is in English), when quizzed on the possibility of cross-platform play in the recently announced Counter-strike: Global Offensive, Valve Software's Gabe Newell replied that it is something that they want to do.
That's certainly our goal. We never want to create these islands of players. You have to be sensitive to control differences and make sure you're accommodating that, but our view is players should be able to play as part of a community on whatever device they can. Sometimes there are contractual or other issues that make that hard; where somebody -- a platform holder -- doesn't want you to do that for whatever reason, but that's always our preference; is to let customers play and be part of the larger community.
While it stops short of confirming cross-platform gaming for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, it is at least heartening to know that it is something they want to offer and also stokes our suspicions that it has long been the console manufacturers standing in the way of that option and not the game developers.
Valve's Portal 2 supports cross-platform play between PC, Mac and PS3 users, but the Xbox 360 version remains fenced off from both still. However Portal 2 is a co-operative game, so having a keyboard/mouse player in the same game as a control-pad player isn't a big issue (although, id Software disagree and recently stated
that as the reason for no cross-platform co-op play in RAGE).
With consoles having now become the most successful platform for first person shooters, are console manufacturers still worried about the negative impacts of mixing players with different controllers? Surely a three-way solution could still have some servers configured to only allow PS3 players or only allow Xbox 360 players if that was their desire, but c'mon, let those of us that want to play together do so guys!