GDC is a time for advancing the video game medium; whether that’s learning from other developers, meeting new industry contacts, finding a new job or advancing development technology. In my experience attending the conference, GDC is where you will find much of the latter. Although much of this year’s news surrounds Virtual Reality, one announcement from ID@XBox, Microsoft’s self-publishing platform, stood out for us this morning – XBox One and Windows 10 cross-network play.
The announcement came from Chris Charla, Director of ID@XBox via the XBox News Wire: “First, in addition to natively supporting cross-platform play between Xbox One and Windows 10 games that use Xbox Live,” Charla states, “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.”
He goes on to say, “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.”
Psyonix excitedly announced that Rocket League is officially the first game to support cross-network play across PC (Windows 10, specifically) and XBox One.
“To say that the team here at Psyonix is both honored and excited to have Rocket League as the first cross-network game is a massive understatement,” writes Jeremy Dunham, VP of Psyonix Studios. “Cross-network play has been the number-one most requested feature our community has asked for since Rocket League was first announced on Xbox One, and now that we are able to pursue complete online unity on all platforms, today’s announcement is a dream come true.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen cross-platform games; Spacetime Studio’s online MMOs, for example, support play over mobile and PC/Mac/Linux, while Candy Crush giant, King allows seamless account sync from mobile to computer with one log in. This is the first time, however, that one player on a console would be able play with someone on their computer.
Maybe some day developers will be able to create one game that plays cross-network between XBox, PC and PlayStation, but for now, Microsoft devs are taking the first steps toward this much-requested gameplay feature.