The Xbox and the PlayStation have been rivals since the early days of gaming. We’ve been torn into two factions, with loyalists and rebels on each side. Each new iteration of the two gaming consoles tore us apart even further and choosing one over the other was nothing short of torture for gaming addicts like us.
Just look at both of them!
Image courtesy of The Big Bang Theory, CBS.
But the Universe has seen us in agony, and moved by our pain, it may be conspiring to deliver happy tidings our way.
Microsoft announced on Monday that, for the first time ever, the Xbox Live will support cross-network gameplay!!
In human-speak, that means people using Xbox Live will be able to play online with gamers using a different system, for example, a Sony PlayStation 4. So you, sitting at your home with a Xbox One, can play with (or against) your friend who’s sitting at his home with a PS4.
More importantly for us, Microsoft has promised the support will extend to Apple devices. And that includes not just the Mac, but also compatible iOS and tvOS devices!!
Image courtesy of MacRumors.
The announcement was made by the Program Director for ID@Xbox, Chris Charla, while announcing native support for cross-platform play between Xbox One and Windows 10.
“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 clarified.
As an example of the new feature, Microsoft revealed that a cross-platform compatible version is already under making at Psyonix. “Rocket League” will be one of the first games to hit the market with this capability.
A screenshot of Rocket League.
Unlike Microsoft or Sony, Apple relies on game makers to host their own multiplayer networks. This means, they not only have to create a different version of their game, they also need to build an entire apparatus from the ground up to support multiplayer gaming.
So,while we welcome the possibility of cross-network gameplay, it’s safe to assume that the first games to benefit from it would be buggy and frustrating. Barring that, these are very early days and full cross-platform compatibility will take months, if not years, to be even satisfyingly workable. These platforms vary in great degree from one another, and to make the gameplay smooth and seamless, hundreds of thousands of code lines will have to be written, re-written, and re-written.
Still, these are exciting times and the road ahead looks promising. Microsoft and Sony have always tried their best to maintain the aloofness of their respective ecosystems, much like Apple does with its products and services. To see Microsoft take the first step towards supporting other platforms makes us cheerful and very hopeful. Here’s to a revolution in the gaming industry and great times ahead!