The big news of the day is Microsoft is making XBOX Live online play cross platform. Why is it big news? First of all, it’s a part of the slippery slope that seems to be happening at Microsoft recently where Microsoft seems to be transitioning its focus to PC Gaming with the announcement of Quantum Break’s for PC. Although that news didn’t seem to sit well with Xbox fans, cross play between gaming mediums should be receive a warm welcome. Gamers have mostly been separated by online play due to console makers restricting their ecosystem. This meant that if your friend had a different console than yours, you wouldn’t be able to play with them- imagine owning the Xbox One when all your friends play on the PS4.
“First, in addition to natively supporting cross-platform play between Xbox One and Windows 10 games that use Xbox Live, we’re enabling developers to support cross-network play as well. This means players on Xbox One and Windows 10 using Xbox Live will be able to play with players on different online multiplayer networks – including other console and PC networks.Of course, it’s up to game developers to support this feature, and Xbox Live players will always have the option of choosing to play only with other Xbox Live
players. We’re thrilled to confirm that Psyonix’s Rocket League will be one of the first games to take advantage of this new capability by enabling cross-network play between Xbox One and PC players, with an open invitation for other networks to participate as well.”
As of now, Rocket League is the only game that supports this feature though. It’s hard to say right now how widespread this feature will be adopted. I can see the consoles and PC adopting this feature in Rocket League, however in other more competitive shooter games it’s obvious that the PC will have an unfair advantage. Having that said, this feature will be left in the dust if the other console and game devs don’t take advantage of it. Let’s hope this trend continues going forward.