In an interview published on Eurogamer just yesterday, Bethesda's Vice President of PR and Marketing Pete Hines talked about the key points of the next generation of hardware, believed to be coming by 2020 at the latest.
He began by pointing out game streaming as a 'theme' across console manufacturers and content providers alike, which certainly is a sound prediction following yesterday's Project xCloud announcement. He then said that cross-progression is as important as cross-play and having that would allow games to be unified for the first time, rather than segmented across each platform.
I think we're going to continue to see streaming be a big thing among both console manufacturers and content providers of a wide variety. The ability to deliver games to people in a variety of different ways, easier and more quickly, on a wider variety of devices. I think it'll be a theme.
I'm most heartened by Sony's news last week about crossplay, because it seems that they're going to open up and embrace not just crossplay, but crossplatform progression - those are two very different things. I don't just want to able to play against people on other platforms. I also want to be able to take my progress with me from device to device. What I've unlocked, what my character can do, I want to be able to go from platform to platform. And both of those things I think are equally important, and I very much am hopeful that with the next gen platforms, we'll see even more of that, in terms of treating our fanbase as a whole, as opposed to "here's the Xbox folks, here's the PS4 folks, here's the Switch folks and PC" - everybody segmented and walled off from each other. We can just say, "you're all playing Game X" and we can treat you all the same because your experiences are all the same, you're playing against each other.
The latter feature should be possible even sooner than the next generation of consoles, though, given that Sony already opened the gates for Fortnite and suggested more titles may support cross-play (and cross-progression).