Microsoft enables cross-platform multiplay between Xbox One and PS4 players

15 Mar 2016

Xbox One gamers will now be able to compete with PS4 owners in multiplayer game titles, Microsoft has revealed.

Microsoft has just revealed that Xbox One owners can now play multiplayer games with anyone with a PC or PlayStation 4. Now the ball is in Sony’s court.

Cross-Network Play enables different console owners to play one another but you must be warned this is only early days for the new capability and it remains to be seen how players on AAA games like Battlefield fare in this expanded universe.

Microsoft announced the new capability on its ID@Xbox publishing programme and said it will now support Windows 10 and Xbox One owners playing with others on different platforms.

Announcing the move during the Games Developer Conference in San Francisco, ID@Xbox boss Chris Charla said: “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.”

New paradigm for gaming beckons at Microsoft

The move is part of an ideological shift at Microsoft where it sees games moving onto the network and consoles being upgradeable just like PCs instead of bringing out new versions every several years.

In recent weeks, the head of Xbox at Microsoft Phil Spencer argued that consoles should be upgradable like PCs and that the model of generational shifts may be coming to an end.

Spencer said because games will be written as universal Windows applications, older titles will remain compatible with the new machines.

Gaming image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years