Xbox One adds cross-platform support: Microsoft wants you to play against PS4 gamers — but does Sony?

Microsoft has just announced the holy grail of online multiplayer games – but it could be too good to be true. In a new post on Xbox Wire, Chris Charla, director of ID@Xbox announced that the Xbox One now supports online play against Windows 10 games AND other consoles. This means gamers with an Xbox One could, in theory, play a multi-platform title such as Star Wars Battlefront against those with a PS4 or a Windows 10 device.

Xbox One adds cross-platform support: Microsoft wants you to play against PS4 gamers — but does Sony?

Microsoft’s blog reads: “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.”

Despite the new cross-platform functionality, Microsoft will still allow Xbox One players to play against each other exclusively if they wish, as Charla writes: “Xbox Live players will always have the option of choosing to play only with other Xbox Live players.” Microsoft hopes the feature will be baked into several games – and says Rocket League will be the first to incorporate the feature.How to install Kodi on the Xbox One

So what’s the catch?

Microsoft has done everything it can to facilitate cross-platform gaming, but the technology represents a two-way street. Microsoft says developers will have to support the feature in their games, and that could be a difficult task.

The new feature also hinges on whether Sony will also open up the PS4 to the Xbox Live – and I find that very unlikely. While Sony does offer the ability to play PC gamers on the PS4, doing the same for the Xbox One would be like handing over a hard-earned advantage to its direct competitor. The PS4’s larger market share comes with several benefits, and one of them is the ability to “lock out” other consoles because of online-play compatibility. 

Simply put, Microsoft’s latest feature will make owning the Xbox One less of an issue if your friends have PS4s. It’s very unlikely Sony would endorse that.

READ NEXT: PS4 vs Xbox One, which should you buy?

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