Microsoft Brings in Cross-Platform Multiplayer Gaming for PC, PS4 and Xbox Users

The console wars might comprise of never ending battles between Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but Microsoft’s recent announcement has made things interesting again. Xbox Live, Microsoft’s Xbox-only online multiplayer and matchmaking service, is now open to all other platforms. The Redmond-based company  just made sure that gamers on all platforms, including PC and consoles such as Xbox One and PS4, will come one step closer to being united with one another, as far as online play is concerned.

Microsoft Announces cross-network play between Xbox One and PS4; competitive gaming sessions to be expected in the future

According to Microsoft’s announcement, Xbox and PC game developers will have the ability to integrate cross-network play in their games based on Xbox Live service. That means Xbox One, PS4 and PC players can clash with Nintendo players in the multiplayer games built to support it. This is definitely the biggest announcement of 2016 for the gaming community as it was being contemplated for a very long period as to when will gamers be able to unite, or draw skirmishes between one another. Apart from a few exceptions, competitive play has never been possible between PC and console players or Xbox and PlayStation players for that matter.

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Rocket League is one of the first games to support cross-platform play

According to Xbox Wire, the primary subject being talked about is cross-network play, and Chris Charla, Director of [email protected] had this to say:

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“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.”

The message that Charla is evidently trying to give away here is that door is wide open for developers to support such a feature. Rocket League, the popular car soccer game from Psyonix has already been confirmed for cross-network play between Xbox One and PC players and it is expected that PS4 console gamers will join the loop soon enough.

Before you get excited, you have to be reminded that the decision to support cross-network play all comes down to the developer. Platform exclusive gaming titles are extremely common, primarily due to the agreements signed by the developing companies and publishers, but this time, developers will have complete autonomy on either linking the chain that brings gamers together, or breaking it. Developers can push out a title update in the days ahead for their existing games that can take advantage of cross-platform play.

Image credits: Gazettereview, Psyonix