With the Game Developer Conference happening this week out west, it was already a sure bet that we’d have some fresh Xbox One news. I suspect very few people thought that Microsoft would use the developer trade show and conference to reveal it is supporting cross-network play with other gaming platforms, but that’s exactly what the company did.

Microsoft’s Chris Charla revealed some new developer-facing features for Xbox Live this morning in a post on Xbox Wire. Charla heads ID@Xbox, the independent developer program that helps smaller studios get their games in the Xbox ecosystem without having to partner with a larger, third-party publisher.

Cross-platform play already allows Xbox One and Windows 10 users to game over Xbox Live together in some titles. Cross-network play, as Charla describes it, will let Xbox Live users play against players on PCs and even some other consoles — provided that those consoles support conencting to Xbox Live in some way. Rocket League will be the first game to have this feature, though it’s not clear when developer Psyonix plans to roll it out.

Joining the cross-network play feature is support for MonoGame, a replacement framework Microsoft hopes fills in the game left vacant by its decision to not bring XNA support to Xbox One. Charla also confirms that ID@Xbox cross-platform play is coming to Windows 10 soon with IDARB.

Already, some are saying that cross-network play means we could see Xbox One and owners of Sony’s PlayStation 4 playing together across a larger portfolio. I’d imagine Sony might have something to say about that. The company would have to add support for the feature to its PlayStation Network platform for it to be a real game-changer, theoretically.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.