Microsoft has unveiled a massive new feature that could help shape a common domain across the major shaping platforms including consoles and PC gaming with cross-network play.
Could console wars be a thing of the past? One day in the future, you may not be forced to buy a console just because your friends are on a PlayStation or an Xbox. Instead, you could settle to go multiplayer on your PC while your friend takes you on from his console, playing the same game. Yes, cross-network play is finally being spoken about. Publicly. By Microsoft.
In an announcement today – after what seems like years of hinting toward it – Microsoft has firmly planted an “open invitation” for competing console manufacturers like the PlayStation as well as the Steam community and other PC networks to participate in a common cross-network.
The feature will be first implemented in Rocket League, a commercially and critically successful game that will have the ability to enable cross-network play between Xbox One and PC players. This announcement also adds that the cross-network play for Rocket League comes “with an open invitation for other networks to participate as well.”
While naïve support of cross-platform play between Xbox One and Windows 10 already exists via Xbox Live, Microsoft has made the first move to issue the call among developers to support cross-network play. An excerpt from the announcement read:
This means that players on Xbox One and Windows 10 using Xbox Live will be able to play with players on different online multiple networks – including other console and PC networks.
As things stand, console gamers can only play titles on the PlayStation Live Network or Xbox Live. Many opt to choose one console over the other entirely upon the platform being used by their friends.
Opening up all the platforms in a free-for-all hack to enable cross-platform play is certain to bring plenty of discussion and debate. The call for developers and rival console manufacturers could prove to be one of the first milestones in establishing cross-platform play, a move which could reshape the future of a multi-billion dollar gaming industry.
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