ID@Xbox boss Chris Charla has released a statement saying that Microsoft are willing to let other platforms play against Xbox online.
Citing Rocket League as the first example of this new, open platform ruling, Charla explained that it’s obviously still going to be up to developers and other platform owners to allow this cross-platform gaming to take place. It’s clear that he’s aiming at Sony without implicitly stating what ‘other platform’ he means, but since Sony have already been happy to work with other publishers such as Valve in the past, it may be the first time we see a Sony, Microsoft and PC platform all sharing the same online game world.
“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.”
There are potential issues and pitfalls with creating a truly cross-platform online game, not least the different servers and languages, but the games that are often championed by ID@Xbox are most likely to succeed in overcoming this. Rocket League is a good example of a game already making headway in this regard.
I, for one, can’t wait until the PC, Playstation and Xbox community all sit around and get shouted at by an 11 year old explaining how he knows all their mums intimately.