This year has been all about cross-platform play, and with Microsoft doing extra effort for their Xbox One things seem to shape up pretty well. First came Fortnite with the most versatile cross-platform play feature ranging from Android smartphones to full-fledged PCs and everything in between. Microsoft itself has switched from physical releases to digital releases with the Xbox Game Pass more influential than ever. The changes to Microsoft’s strategy look promising to say the least.
HiRezStudios in a tweet confirmed that they will add the cross-platform feature to both their most active titles namely, Smite and Paladins across PC, Xbox and Nintendo Switch. Both the games fall somewhere in the MOBA genre with a very fluid and competitive multiplayer experience. This step will not only allow gamers to interact even more but will also promote the e-sports scene.
Along with cross-platform play, the titles will also support cross-progression as well. This will allow users to link their steam and Microsoft accounts with HiRez and access their progress, skins and achievements anywhere on one of the stated platforms. However, some platform-specific content may not be available on every platform. Additionally, multiple DLC will be available to a specific platform. Furthermore, users will be able to link only one account to the HiRez account and can unlink it at any time but in doing so all the progress will be reset.
One important thing here to notice is that Microsoft has already added keyboard and mouse support to various titles but with Paladins and Smite users can connect keyboard and mouse to both the Switch and the Xbox. This also supports cross-platform matchmaking and party. The developers claim that casual matchmaking will not be restricted across platforms by any means but when it comes to ranked matchmaking players will be sorted by their input methods. This will obviously tackle the hurdle of balancing the game.
Players will still be able to attend separate e-sports scenes for each platform and certain key features will be merged such as player reporting, global leaderboards and much more. However, the player base will have to face a 24-hour downtime scheduled 3rd December for Paladins and 10th December for Smite. The update is expected to go live in mid-January 2019 with support for more platforms expected later on as the year progresses. For further information please follow HiRezStudios.