If you’re an avid video gamer with a serious passion for online play, then you might want to rub your eyes in disbelief at this one. After spending a number of years hitting at the potential of cross-platform networking gaming, Microsoft has announced that the capability will be offered to Xbox One owners in the near future. In a not too distant world it looks as though Xbox One owners will be able to play games head-to-head against PlayStation 4 and PC gamers by utilizing games that have been purposely built to support the feature, but as you might expect, it’s not as simple as just flicking the switch, and will involve participation from other vendors.
As part of the announcement, Microsoft has confirmed that Rocket League will become one of the first official titles to support the newly announced cross-network play capability. The software giant company has also hinted at the potential for this type of gaming to go truly cross-network to other consoles by hinting at the potential for Sony and other companies to get involved by supporting the technologies in future titles, stating that it’s “up to game developers to support this feature.”
In a blog post, Chris Charla, Director of ID@Xbox touched upon the subject, saying:
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. We’re thrilled to confirm that Psyonix’s Rocket League will be one of the first games to take advantage of this new capability by enabling cross-network play between Xbox One and PC players, with an open invitation for other networks to participate as well.
That “open invitation” to other networks is what will likely excite video gamers the most. Granted, it’s exciting news for Xbox One gamers to be able to enjoy the same title at the same time in a head-to-head environment against a Windows 10 PC gamer, but the real power will come when, and if, game developers start supporting this type of cross-network integration in PlayStation 4 titles. There’s always been a huge divide in the console world about which hardware to actually purchase. There’s now a very real possibility that gamers will no longer be forced to choose a particular console based on their friends choices in order to play head-to-head online.