Xbox Finally Opens the Door for Multiplayer Across Consoles

XBOX ONE OWNERS might be able to play online with players on other consoles soon—if Microsoft gets their way.

In a letter on the Xbox website, Chris Charla, director of the independent games program for Xbox One and Windows 10, announced today that they’re enabling developers to support online play across different “platforms”—a videogame industry euphemism for other gaming consoles.

Charla went on to say that Rocket League, the utterly brilliant car soccer game by Psyonix, would be one of the first to take advantage of the new functionality, “enabling cross-network play between Xbox One and PC players, with an open invitation for other networks to participate as well.”

Other networks like, say, Sony’s PlayStation Network. Since, y’know, currently the PlayStation 4 is the only other consoleRocket League is on.

Microsoft has been touting for a while the ability for Xbox One players to engage online with their counterparts on PC. But console networks are a different story. Historically, they’ve been walled gardens, communicating with themselves and no one else. This has changed over time, with console-to-PC play becoming more and more common. But online play across different consoles? That’s unheard of.

The big question, at this moment, is whether or not Sony would consider playing ball. Online exclusivity is something that works in Sony’s favor at present. With the PlayStation 4 being the bestselling new-generation console by available indicators, people looking to play online with their friends are probably going to lean PS4 over Xbox One. If multiplayer across consoles becomes an available feature, the competition between major consoles could become that much less relevant.

We’ve reached out to Sony for comment, and we’ll update when we hear back. In the meantime, we’re going to imagine a utopian world of possibility, where Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players march hand-in-hand into the sunset, hope for a better future shining in their eyes.

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