Yesterday at GDC 2016 Microsoft announced that Xbox One players will finally be able to play online with their friends on other platforms starting this year. Developers will be able to bridge the platform gap between Windows 10 and Xbox One and the first game to support this new functionality is none other than last years’ surprise hit Rocket League.
Potentially the most shocking news is that Microsoft appears open to allowing players on longtime rival Sony’s PlayStation Network to play against one another at some point in the future. In the official blog post on the Xbox.com News Wire, Chris Charles the Director of ID @ Xbox, described the possibility of cross-console online gameplay as an “open invitation”.
Here’s his full section regarding the possibility of cross-platform play:
First, 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. 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.
Rocket League launched on PlayStation 4 in July of 2015, the Xbox One version went live last month on February 17th. The game across all three platforms (PS4, Xbox One, Windows PC) has sold over 4 million units and earned developer Psyonix over $70 million.