Earlier today, Chris Charla, director of the ID@Xbox program, announced that Microsoft will start closing the gap between console and PC gamers. For far too long, gamers were stuck in closed communities with little-to-no cooperation between platforms. And while cross-platform support between Xbox One and Windows using Xbox Live is a move in the right direction, Microsoft is taking it one step further and enabling developers to offer cross-platform support for future games, too.
Microsoft is moving to put an end to platform-specific gaming
Microsoft has basically sent an open invitation to all game developers and rival companies to work together and unify the world of gaming (which is a multi-billion dollar industry) by taking part in their initiative to create a “platformless” environment where gamers can do what they do best regardless of what device they’re playing on (excluding mobile, obviously). While this is an admirable effort from Microsoft, certain things must happen for this to take off.
Developers will have to take advantage of the cross-platform capabilities Microsoft has placed at their disposal and competing gaming networks must be supportive (Sony, we’re looking at you!). We’ve also been informed that the first game to take advantage of these cross-platform capabilities is Rocket League. Many will recognize this title as it took the Playstation network by storm with its interesting mixture of eSports and racing.
In addition to cross-platform play, Microsoft also announced that Xbox Live will be supporting MonoGame, an open source alternative to their proprietary programming framework, XNA. (A tool that is also overdue considering Xbox Live offers no native support for it.)
Online multiplayer platforms are getting more popular with each passing year, and we think this move is something long overdue, something both gamers and developers have been asking for. Will this bring an end to the console war? Or will this be the end of the PC master race? I don’t think so, but at least cross-platform gaming can let us settle the debate in the arena (where it should be).