The platform wars commence later this year, as future Xbox Live titles may allow for online play between Xbox One, Steam, Origin, and yes- PSN.
Earlier today, ID@Xbox Director Chris Charla released an update in regards to ID@Xbox’s GDC 2016 presence. Microsoft’s indie developer program, ID@Xbox announced Cross-Network play for Xbox Live-enabled games. Along with the native cross-platform online support between Xbox One and Windows 10, Microsoft will now allow developers to open their multiplayer network to other platforms.
Though “it’s up to game developers to support the feature”, this could potentially open Xbox Live-supported titles for Cross-Play between such platforms as Steam, uPlay, Origin, and PSN. The action-packed car-soccer title from Psyonix, Rocket League will be among the first titles to support Cross-Network play between Xbox One, PC (Windows 10 and Steam), “with an open invitation for other networks to participate as well”.
The Cross-Play concept started gaining momentum in 2014 shortly after the launches of the Xbox One and PS4. Select titles allowed for cross-platform play on Sony consoles, with examples being Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- and the upcoming -REVELATOR-; online competitors can challenge each other across the PS3 and PS4 versions of both games. Street Fighter V and the future PC release of Killer Instinct: Season 3 showcase console-to-PC multiplayer, though Microsoft previously tested 360-to-PC Cross-Play in the past with Shadowrun, Universe at War: Earth Assault and Lost Planet: Extreme Condition – Colonies Edition.
Sadly, Nintendo platforms are currently in the dark; while some content can be transferred or unlocked between games (i.e. Hyrule Warriors Wii U DLC obtained from owning the 3DS version, or using a 3DS as a controller for Smash Bros for Wii U), no Nintendo titles support online Cross-Play. This could potentially change, as Rocket League is currently in development for the Wii U.
Microsoft also announced that Tom Happ’s Axiom Verge will be available soon for Xbox One, courtesy of the open-source MonoGame framework. As the previous XNA programming framework is incompatible with the Xbox One, Microsoft enlisted the help of ARMED! developer Sickhead Games to bring MonoGame to Xbox One. Sickhead is also responsible for the respective PS4 and Vita ports of TowerFall Ascension, Apotheon, Dust: An Elysian Tail and Octodad: Dad-liest Catch.
GDC 2016 runs from Mar. 14-18 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA.