Choosing between an Xbox One or Playstation 4 is still a big life decision. Ok, there are a lot less platform exclusives than there used to be, so it’s not like in the 90s when you had to pick between playing Super Mario World or Sonic 2 — but if all your crew have Playstations, and you’ve got an Xbox, you’re not going to be involved in that marathon Call of Duty session, are you? It’s the digital version of not being invited to the cool party and sitting at home on your own on a Friday night.
This could soon be a thing of the past. Microsoft have just announced that soon Xbox Live users will be able to play games against gamers on other systems. This is big news. The first game to offer this will be Rocket League, and allow “cross-network play between Xbox One and PC players, with an open invitation for other networks to participate as well.” That “open invitation for other networks” is coded reference to the Playstation 4 and Wii U, though we’ll have to wait and see how it plays out in practice. There's no word from Sony on this — it's possible they could just shut down any possibility of it happening from their end, if they want to keep the Playstation Network exclusive. There'd also be technical issues of games running at different speeds and specs. But still, if Microsoft are willing to let this happen, we're excited.
In a blog post, director of ID@Xbox Chris Carla explain their plans:
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. 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.
This is a gamechanger, people.