Xbox One steps into Cross-Platform with Rocket League

In March we heard that the addictive fan-favourite Rocket League on Xbox One would be getting a new pool of roccar-players, thanks to an update that would allow cross-platform games with those playing on PC. 

The PS4 edition of the game already has cross-platform play with PC and while it’s not a huge leap in logic, there were significant ripples in the general gaming community when developer Psyonix coupled the announcement with news they’d uncovered the holy grail of cross-platform play – the means to have Xbox One, PS4 and PC players all on the field together.

With Rocket League touted as the means to build the first bridge across that divide between the consoles, the publicity arms of Microsoft and Sony did their respective thing, starting an enviable staring contest that players on their respective platforms can currently only dream about. There’ll be interesting days ahead as we learn more, but for the moment Xbox players will have to be content with just playing alongside the Rocket League to when they are able to play alongside the roccar-players on PC.

A new article on Xbox Wire states that the update to enable cross-platform play between PC and Xbox One is going out today, so if you’re in luck, you’ll already have it patched.

With their unified approach to Windows 10, streaming from console to computer via the Xbox app, Microsoft have shown they’re pursuing a future where the line between PC and console is blurry, and moving between them will be seamless. There have been some games that have supported moving content or saves between the platforms, and it’s been heavily featured in marketing for recent games such as Quantum Break and Ori and the Blind Forest.

Both of these games (as well as others) support game saves following the player as they jump system, yet it isn’t the groundbreaking change that this generation is capable of. It’s not even the one we had last generation.

fable legends1Playing with or against friends on other platforms might seem like a dream, yet it’s happened before. In terms of actual playing across platforms, Microsoft’s track record with it is iffy, but there was an early foray into it that came from FASA Studio’s Shadowrun back in 2009. That particular game brought PC players and Xbox 360 players together.

Before the Rocket League news, the most prominent contender for cross-platform glory was Fable Legends, a game that’s now well and truly cancelled since Microsoft closed down Lionhead
Studios. For now it’s up to Rocket League to hold the candle alone.

It’ll also be interesting to see if as much as Microsoft say they support cross-platform play, if they work with developer 4J Studios on the console edition of Minecraft that has been proliferated across every conceivable platform, and that they now very much own. There were rumours at the time of the Windows 10 beta for Minecraft that it was the first step toward that happening, but it’s unlikely the update for the game that’s been hinted at this week will be for that particular item on our wishlist.

While there are some that would love to call a victor in this generation of consoles, and there are questions as to whether complete cross-platform play will be needed in the next, the reality is the Xbox One isn’t going away. We all have family and friends on one or the other, sometimes both, and with so many games being better by virtue of it being with those we know, the choice of platform is a consideration that needs to go away.

We’re still hopeful that the days of us all being separated by platform choice will soon join gaming relics like code-wheels and online passes, and be just a topic in the history of games.

Until that day, Xbox One players will have to be content with only losing against those on PC.

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