Cross-platform gaming has been a dream for many gamers over the years. Considering the variety of consoles and personal preferences, we may not have the same system as our friends, making it difficult to harass them throughout our gaming experience.
Because, honestly, who wouldn't love to blast your best friend in a game of Call of Duty regardless of what console they play on?
Well, both Microsoft and Sony have gone on record to say that they’re willing to look into cross-platform gaming, albeit in slightly cryptic statements. From Microsoft and Sony, respectively:
“… 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.”
“PlayStation has been supporting cross-platform play between PC on several software titles starting with Final Fantasy 11 on PS2 and PC back in 2002…We would be happy to have the conversation with any publishers or developers who are interested in cross platform play.”
Now, neither of these statements seems the least bit concrete, but it’s at least a move in the direction that we all want both major systems to go. The ability to play across platforms has been a massive roadblock for so many gamers over the years as they try to decide which console they should purchase. But you’ll notice that they each speak about developers because, ultimately, it’s on the development teams for our favorite games to make it a possibility.
Recently the announcement that Rocket League allows cross-platform play between Windows 10 and Xbox Live players has stirred quite the ruckus of hopes and dreams among gamers wanting more.
So Who Is Going To Start The Cross-Platform Generation?
Well, Blizzard Entertainment is keen on bringing together platforms for Overwatch players. In the official Twitter account, Blizzard has noted that they are looking to keep an eye on cross-platform possibility on consoles. Allowing Overwatch to be playable across platforms will be a huge step for gamers and will potentially set the stage for future game developers to join in.
Sadly though, Blizzard has confirmed that cross-play between PC and console gamers won’t be possible as they are balanced differently and PC gamers would have a clear and definitive advantage. Yet, as simple as it all sounds considering that Blizzard is willing to sit at the table and allow for cross-platform between the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, there’s still a long road ahead of true cross-play.
What’s Holding Everyone Back?
Introducing cross-play could theoretically cause Sony to lose some of their foothold as the market leader, considering that it would make it unnecessary to buy both consoles unless you truly wanted one console’s unique games. Players that didn’t care about the system-specific games would likely go with the cheaper system and currently that's Microsoft’s niche. So, Microsoft wins out slightly by making a deal like this to offer cross-play but only by a slight margin. Yet, for gamers, it would be a win-win, and I'm sure you'll agree that we're looking forward to the day when we can crush our friends regardless of the console we each prefer.
But who knows what the future will hold — regardless, it’s a good time to be a gamer!