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.
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.
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.
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