If you’re big into multiplayer gaming, you need to buy the same console as your friends to play together. But a new move by Microsoft may end that.
In a note to independent developers today, ID@Xbox director Chris Charla announced that the company is enabling developers to support cross-network multiplayer gaming. He explains, “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.”
In other words, it could the first step in letting Xbox One users play against PlayStation 4 owners online, if Sony decides to open up its network, as well. We’re asking the PlayStation maker for comment on Microsoft’s announcement.
“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,” Charla said.
Rocket League, the smash hit where you play soccer with a futuristic car, will be one of the first games to enable cross platform play. The initial rollout will just be between PC and Xbox One networks, but Microsoft is inviting other networks (like Playstation Network) to open up as well.
While one of the main selling points of the new Xbox app on Windows 10 has been letting users play with friends on more devices, this doubles down on that approach and puts Microsoft’s console ahead of the PS4 in that respect.
And for Microsoft, which is frequently behind Sony in console sales, this could pump up Xbox One sales among users whose friends all own PS4s. However, Sony will still have to adopt similar measures with Playstation Network for cross-platform multiplayer to really take off.