Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners might get to play with or against each other in the future.
Microsoft revealed today that it is enabling independent developers to open up cross-network game with its games. This not only means that users can play Xbox One and PC games together, but it opens up the possibility of Xbox One and PC players connecting with PlayStation 4 owners. Typically, Microsoft and Sony have chosen not to support cross-platform play between its console. In fact, consoles have traditionally been closed platforms that rarely allowed players to connect to competitor’s systems. This move by Microsoft could signify a shift in thinking. Rocket League, the popular racer/soccer hybrid, will be one of the first to enable cross-network play.
“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,” Chris Charla, director of ID@Xbox (Microsoft’s group dedicated to independent gaming), noted on a blog post.
It sounds like Microsoft is basically calling out Sony (without ever naming them). Of course, Sony’s PlayStation 4 is the market leader, so it might not feel the pressure to follow Microsoft’s lead. While the Xbox One could benefit from allowing users to play with the larger PlayStation 4 audience (“Look, kids! You don’t need to buy a PS4 to play games with all your friends who own that system!”), Sony might be happy to keep its players walled-in. Of course, Sony has allowed cross-play with PC before with some games (including Rocket League), so maybe it will be OK with allowing Xbox One to get in on the fun.