Back in the day, the ability to play with other gamers across different platforms seemed like a dream. But now, Microsoft has decided to make that dream into reality. Just this week, ID@Xbox’s director, Chris Charla, has revealed some interesting news regarding cross-platform play.
Aside from cross-platform play between Xbox One and Windows 10 games that use Xbox live, Microsoft has announced that developers can now add a cross-network play option for their games. Meaning, other gaming consoles and platforms aside from Xbox One and Windows 10 can connect to the two Microsoft platforms. Of course, that all depends on the whether or not developers take this chance. Microsoft has even extended an invitation to other gaming networks to participate if they wished to. Chris Charla, ID@Xbox Director stated the following:
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.
Although it hasn’t been mentioned in Charla’s announcement, many have already speculated this as a clear invitation to Sony’s PlayStation 4, especially since it is one of the biggest new-generation consoles today. But so far, Sony has to speak out any comments on Microsoft’s news.
The good side of having cross-platform play is that people who play on different consoles will be unified. PC players could easily play co-op with PS4 players or Xbox users could face off with PC users and more. This flexibility could possibly even increase the audiences for different game titles. People won’t have to worry about missing out on gaming night with their friends just because they don’t own the same platform.
As mentioned by Charla, Rocket League is one of the first few games who have extended their hand to Microsoft’s little invitation, allowing PC and PS4 users to face each other off. Capcom’s Street Fighter V is also planning to have cross-platform play between PS4 and PC, although already announced since last year. Games such as Tom Clancy’s The Division, Destiny, Ark: Survival Evolved and Call of Duty are all multiplayer heavy games that could potentially be great for cross-platform play. The Division’s The Dark Zone, a PvP heavy area with no rules, could become more chaotic than it already is, possibly immersing players in the post-apocalyptic world it’s set in.
If playing between different platforms will become a trend, developers and publishers can choose to invest their titles in a variety of platforms if they wish to. Once this happens, more players will be able to purchase different game titles, resulting in a bigger gaming community for these games. But developers can also choose not to as said by Charla:
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.
But we all know that good things can come with a price. Along with the good stuff, having cross-platform play could also have its potential bad sides. Developing cross-platform multiplayer can become a nightmare for game developers. Creating a game for one platform and porting them to another is hard enough as it is, so now they have to make cross-platform play possible? Development time would take longer than they usually do and game prices could likely increase. Youch.
What’s more, having a bigger pool of players for one game can cause a lot of connectivity issues. Imagine how long the gaming queues would be with more than thousands of people playing in one server. Sometimes, getting in the game could seem impossible because there would be no room left for users. In order to resolve this, games have to have servers that could handle a very large number of players inside it, and even if they did have it, there would be lag issues. Even MMORPGs for PC experience lag when there is a big number of players staying in one area.
Pros and cons aside, Sony has yet to confirm their participation on Microsoft’s invitation. Thanks to Microsoft’s big step, the possibility of playing with other platforms is greater now. We’re definitely looking forward to what will happen next. Stay tuned on our website as we will update you on what Sony has to say regarding this matter.