Gamers have been wanting to play games cross-console for a long time now. With the recent climate of gaming more and more frequently supporting cross-play between console and PC (the most notable recent example being Rocket League’s partnership with PS4) gamers have been scratching their head wondering why PC had to be the limit. After a long while, Microsoft has finally decided that it’s time to open the floodgates and start letting gamers enjoy an open, cross-console community.
The first game that’s going to be supporting this open network play is going to be Rocket League, the same game that broke open network barriers with PS4 and PC. The update that’s going to bring this change is going to be arriving later this Spring (no specific date yet) and should revolutionize not only the experience of Rocket League players but the experience of all gamers going forward. Microsoft’s decision to open up Xbox Live’s network opens a world of possibilities for developers going forward, should they choose to support this feature.
Assuming developers in the future build their games with this feature in mind, games like The Division and Destiny may not have to have their communities split anymore. Gamers on PS4, Xbox One, and PC will all be able to come together to enjoy the games they love with one another – a dream come true for a community of hobbyists who continue to embrace one another, creating demand for more and more games that require cooperative play and massively multiplayer components.
This being said, Microsoft made it clear in their blog post regarding GDC: “it’s up to game developers to support this feature.” It may take a while for developers to get to a point where they’re comfortable, or even able, to make use of Microsoft’s newfound desire to bring all gamers together. With any luck, this transition in the nature of multiplayer gaming can go smoothly, and the gaming community will recognize immediately what a difference it makes to their ability to make use of cooperative and competitive experiences.