Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is planned for PC, Mac, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360--but ideally, Valve wants you to be able to square off against players of any platform. "We never want to create these 'islands of players'," Valve boss Gabe Newell said at Gamescom.
One of the real limitations of cross-platform play may be input devices. "You have to be sensitive to control differences, and make sure you're accommodating that, but you know, our view is players should be able to play as part of a community on whatever device they can," Newell told PCGames.de (via Blues News). He said that cross-platform play is "certainly our goal."
But, sometimes business realities get in the way. "You know, 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. To let customers play and be part of the larger community." Of course, saying "a platform holder" instead of "Microsoft" was awfully tactful.
There is some hope for a cross-platform solution. Valve pushed for Steamworks and cross-platform play in Portal 2, and--minus the PlayStation Network outage--it seemed to work out fine and dandy. If cross-platform play is implemented, Sony will probably be up for letting Valve do it again with CS:GO. But will Microsoft relent to match their chief competitor?