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Microsoft introduces cross-network play (PC, PSN)

CenoCeno pizza timeRegistered User regular
edited March 2016 in Games and Technology
Yep. That's right. If supported by developers (and presumably Sony), Microsoft is supporting cross-platform network multiplayer.

http://news.xbox.com/2016/03/14/letter-chris-charla-idxbox-updates-gdc/

This is pretty big news and pretty much implies that, if Sony were to offer the same support, that you would no longer need to buy a specific platform in order to play with your friends. I imagine there's a lot of stuff to work out on the backend, but yeah... kind of crazy.

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    Ceno wrote: »
    Yep. That's right. If supported by developers (and presumably Sony), Microsoft is supporting cross-platform network multiplayer.

    http://news.xbox.com/2016/03/14/letter-chris-charla-idxbox-updates-gdc/

    This is pretty big news and pretty much implies that, if Sony were to offer the same support, that you would no longer need to buy a specific platform in order to play with your friends. I imagine there's a lot of stuff to work out on the backend, but yeah... kind of crazy.
    I'd still put a "wait and see" on that one. The key phrases that color me "skeptical" are:
    * "First, in addition to natively supporting cross-platform play between Xbox One and Windows 10 games that use Xbox Live," and
    * "Of course, it’s up to game developers to support this feature, "

    The main thing stopping cross-platform play on the big online titles is the fact that patching schedules on PC occur at the speed of the publisher, while patching schedules for consoles occur at the speed of certification (by Sony and Microsoft). And online titles tend to patch about once a month while they are popular. Most publishers REALLY hate the idea of submitting patches constantly for scrutiny for both Microsoft and Sony for certification, as it prevents them from publishing their content at will. Imagine the nightmare that would occur if you have one ecosystem fully patched, another ecosystem one patch behind, and a different one with the patch stuck in certification.

    The service entitlement (the online ID that shows what DLC and games you've purchased, or how many months of subscription you have left) authentication alone would be a nightmare. I can't see it happening for most modern online games, because that would require each online store ecosystem to "share" marketing and store information, and that's something that businesses don't generally do (for legal reasons AND business reasons). For things like Rocket League, where it is simply matchmaking and leaderboards, though, it would be simpler.

    Cross-platform play is not a new thing, by the way... it's just rare. There are individual titles that had cross-platform play already on both PlayStation and XBox platforms, but these are few and far between. The Shadowrun FPS (terrible use of the license, by the way) had it between PC and XBox, for example. DC Universe (MMO) had cross platform gameplay between PS3, PS4, and PC. Final Fantasy XI and XIV both had cross-platform play during their life cycle. Street Fighter V is supposedly cross-platform play between PC and PS4 as well (for current gen). The Rocket League example being used in most tech news articles is already PS4 and PC cross-platform. There are a number of MMOs and online games already on PS4, Xbone, and PC that share leaderboards or other information between them.

    If there was a time to do it, though, it would be now, since PC, PS4, and XBone are all functionally similar with less differences than prior generations in terms of hardware.

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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    As mentioned above, it's not new, just rare--Final Fantasy XI had been on Xbox 360 for ages (with people playing alongside PC users), Street Fighter V more recently...

    The tough part is a console owner like Microsoft (or Sony) demonstrating enough commitment to the concept to get the bulk of developers to buy into it.

  • PMAversPMAvers Registered User regular
    I swear I remember reading a story ages ago about how Sony would be on board for something like this, but Microsoft was the big hold-out.

    Hell, imagine if Destiny 2 actually came out with support for this. (Plus a computer version.) That... would be nice.

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  • AegeriAegeri Tiny wee bacteriums Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    PMAvers wrote: »
    I swear I remember reading a story ages ago about how Sony would be on board for something like this, but Microsoft was the big hold-out.

    Hell, imagine if Destiny 2 actually came out with support for this. (Plus a computer version.) That... would be nice.

    I had the exact same thought. Was it World of Tanks or one of those MMOish games that complained about this? I remember them saying Sony were willing but MS did not want to do so.

    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
  • PMAversPMAvers Registered User regular
    Aegeri wrote: »
    PMAvers wrote: »
    I swear I remember reading a story ages ago about how Sony would be on board for something like this, but Microsoft was the big hold-out.

    Hell, imagine if Destiny 2 actually came out with support for this. (Plus a computer version.) That... would be nice.

    I had the exact same thought. Was it World of Tanks or one of those MMOish games that complained about this? I remember them saying Sony were willing but MS did not want to do so.

    I think it was Final Fantasy 14, actually. It didn't get a 'boxen release because of it.

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  • ZekZek Registered User regular
    It sounds like across the board they're pursuing a grand strategy of unification between XBox and PC, in more ways than just this: http://www.polygon.com/2016/3/1/11121666/xbox-one-hardware-upgrades-phil-spencer-microsoft

    Basically they want both XBox One and Windows 10 to be platforms that exist into perpetuity with iterative upgrades instead of major new revisions. I think it seems like an interesting idea, though it's controversial on both sides - PC players don't want a closed Microsoft ecosystem, and console players don't want to shell out cash for hardware upgrades more often than every 5+ years. However I think that Microsoft has correctly identified that the era of the traditional console cycle is reaching an end and is trying to be the first one to hit on what comes next. Windows 10 gives them a lot of muscle to force their PC philosophy to come to fruition if they so choose, so it will be interesting to see how things pan out for the XBox.

    darleysam
  • AegeriAegeri Tiny wee bacteriums Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited March 2016
    PMAvers wrote: »
    Aegeri wrote: »
    PMAvers wrote: »
    I swear I remember reading a story ages ago about how Sony would be on board for something like this, but Microsoft was the big hold-out.

    Hell, imagine if Destiny 2 actually came out with support for this. (Plus a computer version.) That... would be nice.

    I had the exact same thought. Was it World of Tanks or one of those MMOish games that complained about this? I remember them saying Sony were willing but MS did not want to do so.

    I think it was Final Fantasy 14, actually. It didn't get a 'boxen release because of it.

    Rocket League and Defiance as well apparently had problems getting cross-play from MS, which even got Xbox One gamers denied entry into a recent tournament for Rocket League the developers of it hosted because they couldn't play with PS4/PC.

    This overall seems like an incredibly smart decision from MS and only benefits the people using their platform. I think this might also be an acknowledgement that developers didn't take to Azure dedicated servers particularly well, or are MS going to allow other platforms on PC/PS4 to connect to these servers? I assume only games using peer to peer or their own servers would count for this?

    Aegeri on
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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    I remember when PS3 was going to have cross-play with the PC on select titles and nothing came of it.

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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    I remember when PS3 was going to have cross-play with the PC on select titles and nothing came of it.

    Yeah, same with Steam on the PS3. It's a tough hurdle for any company--that the PS4 (and Xbox One) are more PC-esque in their architecture (to varying degrees--the Xbox 360 was already pushing that distinction) helps, I'm sure, but it leaves all the organizational and financial hurdles. It IS a great idea, but's still challenging on a case-by-case basis, and I'm convinced you need a broad trend to get third parties to sign on.

  • dporowskidporowski Registered User regular
    Aegeri wrote: »
    PMAvers wrote: »
    Aegeri wrote: »
    PMAvers wrote: »
    I swear I remember reading a story ages ago about how Sony would be on board for something like this, but Microsoft was the big hold-out.

    Hell, imagine if Destiny 2 actually came out with support for this. (Plus a computer version.) That... would be nice.

    I had the exact same thought. Was it World of Tanks or one of those MMOish games that complained about this? I remember them saying Sony were willing but MS did not want to do so.

    I think it was Final Fantasy 14, actually. It didn't get a 'boxen release because of it.

    Rocket League and Defiance as well apparently had problems getting cross-play from MS, which even got Xbox One gamers denied entry into a recent tournament for Rocket League the developers of it hosted because they couldn't play with PS4/PC.

    This overall seems like an incredibly smart decision from MS and only benefits the people using their platform. I think this might also be an acknowledgement that developers didn't take to Azure dedicated servers particularly well, or are MS going to allow other platforms on PC/PS4 to connect to these servers? I assume only games using peer to peer or their own servers would count for this?

    I would assume "cross play" has little to no interaction with where you do your server hosting. Azure is just the MS equivalent of AWS/Cloud Computing, it's not a fancy secret Xbox-only thing.

  • AegeriAegeri Tiny wee bacteriums Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    dporowski wrote: »
    Aegeri wrote: »
    PMAvers wrote: »
    Aegeri wrote: »
    PMAvers wrote: »
    I swear I remember reading a story ages ago about how Sony would be on board for something like this, but Microsoft was the big hold-out.

    Hell, imagine if Destiny 2 actually came out with support for this. (Plus a computer version.) That... would be nice.

    I had the exact same thought. Was it World of Tanks or one of those MMOish games that complained about this? I remember them saying Sony were willing but MS did not want to do so.

    I think it was Final Fantasy 14, actually. It didn't get a 'boxen release because of it.

    Rocket League and Defiance as well apparently had problems getting cross-play from MS, which even got Xbox One gamers denied entry into a recent tournament for Rocket League the developers of it hosted because they couldn't play with PS4/PC.

    This overall seems like an incredibly smart decision from MS and only benefits the people using their platform. I think this might also be an acknowledgement that developers didn't take to Azure dedicated servers particularly well, or are MS going to allow other platforms on PC/PS4 to connect to these servers? I assume only games using peer to peer or their own servers would count for this?

    I would assume "cross play" has little to no interaction with where you do your server hosting. Azure is just the MS equivalent of AWS/Cloud Computing, it's not a fancy secret Xbox-only thing.

    You are not allowed to use Azure with cross play games as near as I can tell from the Rocket League guys are saying. Their cross play will use their own servers to do so, not Azure.

    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
  • SorceSorce Not ThereRegistered User regular
    Need for Speed Underground 2 had cross-play back in the day, though I think that was just PC and PS2, no X-Box.

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  • dporowskidporowski Registered User regular
    edited March 2016
    Aegeri wrote: »
    dporowski wrote: »
    Aegeri wrote: »
    PMAvers wrote: »
    Aegeri wrote: »
    PMAvers wrote: »
    I swear I remember reading a story ages ago about how Sony would be on board for something like this, but Microsoft was the big hold-out.

    Hell, imagine if Destiny 2 actually came out with support for this. (Plus a computer version.) That... would be nice.

    I had the exact same thought. Was it World of Tanks or one of those MMOish games that complained about this? I remember them saying Sony were willing but MS did not want to do so.

    I think it was Final Fantasy 14, actually. It didn't get a 'boxen release because of it.

    Rocket League and Defiance as well apparently had problems getting cross-play from MS, which even got Xbox One gamers denied entry into a recent tournament for Rocket League the developers of it hosted because they couldn't play with PS4/PC.

    This overall seems like an incredibly smart decision from MS and only benefits the people using their platform. I think this might also be an acknowledgement that developers didn't take to Azure dedicated servers particularly well, or are MS going to allow other platforms on PC/PS4 to connect to these servers? I assume only games using peer to peer or their own servers would count for this?

    I would assume "cross play" has little to no interaction with where you do your server hosting. Azure is just the MS equivalent of AWS/Cloud Computing, it's not a fancy secret Xbox-only thing.

    You are not allowed to use Azure with cross play games as near as I can tell from the Rocket League guys are saying. Their cross play will use their own servers to do so, not Azure.

    Well, that'd be odd given this:



    I mean "open to any platform" but "and you can't cross-play"?

    Edit: Oh hey, from the tweets further down in the conversation, "Sony won't let you use Azure"? Who knows how accurate that is, though. Certainly possible.


    Edit x2: Seriously damn embedding tweet crap dammit

    dporowski on
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    I imagine that if you're not exclusive on Xbox, the fees for using Azure go up a significant amount.

  • dporowskidporowski Registered User regular
    I imagine that if you're not exclusive on Xbox, the fees for using Azure go up a significant amount.

    Or "you don't get a discount", more accurately. Servers cost money.

    However, that right there probably encapsulates it. Servers, even virtual cloudy future ones, cost money to run. Making your poor bastard players do P2P hosting is free. So while yep, it'd certainly be a better experience for everyone in almost all cases if there were dedicated servers for a thing, boy oh boy are publishers "thrifty".

    Synthesis
  • AegeriAegeri Tiny wee bacteriums Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    I imagine that if you're not exclusive on Xbox, the fees for using Azure go up a significant amount.

    Quite a lot. People forget that major franchises that aren't Xbone exclusive get considerable fee discounts, most notably Call of Duty.

    Also given that Sony have - according to every developer asked on the matter multiple times - never stood in the way of people being allowed to do cross platform multiplayer in the past, I'm not inclined to believe they are the barrier to accessing Azure here. It's probably a combination of MS and the fee's involved. I won't rule out Sony having a problem, but it just seems incredibly unlikely given how unopposed to cross-play in general they have been while MS has been the barrier. Again, according to multiple developers.

    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
  • ProhassProhass Registered User regular
    I really hope this happens because some great multiplayer games have died simply because the install base isn't large enough on Xbox.

  • StrikaStrika Registered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    Ceno wrote: »
    Yep. That's right. If supported by developers (and presumably Sony), Microsoft is supporting cross-platform network multiplayer.

    http://news.xbox.com/2016/03/14/letter-chris-charla-idxbox-updates-gdc/

    The Shadowrun FPS (terrible use of the license, by the way) had it between PC and XBox, for example. DC Universe (MMO) had cross platform gameplay between PS3, PS4, and PC. Final Fantasy XI and XIV both had cross-platform play during their life cycle. Street Fighter V is supposedly cross-platform play between PC and PS4 as well (for current gen). The Rocket League example being used in most tech news articles is already PS4 and PC cross-platform. There are a number of MMOs and online games already on PS4, Xbone, and PC that share leaderboards or other information between them.

    If there was a time to do it, though, it would be now, since PC, PS4, and XBone are all functionally similar with less differences than prior generations in terms of hardware.


    That Shadowrun FPS was actually an amazing game. Just didn't really have anything to do with the Shadowrun universe.

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  • AegeriAegeri Tiny wee bacteriums Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    Prohass wrote: »
    I really hope this happens because some great multiplayer games have died simply because the install base isn't large enough on Xbox.

    How long did Titanfall last?

    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
  • ProhassProhass Registered User regular
    edited March 2016
    Aegeri wrote: »
    Prohass wrote: »
    I really hope this happens because some great multiplayer games have died simply because the install base isn't large enough on Xbox.

    How long did Titanfall last?

    Well it's still pretty strong if all you wanna do is play attrition (team death match), on Xbox one I still play it at least. It's just any other mode is pretty much empty. It definitely helped when they released all the dlc content for free

    Prohass on
    darleysam
  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks Registered User regular
    Sorce wrote: »
    Need for Speed Underground 2 had cross-play back in the day, though I think that was just PC and PS2, no X-Box.

    Quake III Arena and 4x4 Evo for the Dreamcast had cross-play a decade and a half ago. Technically Sega Swirl did as well, but it was play-by email.

    All three of those games are still playable online, and still cross play to this day.

    Sorce
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited March 2016
    Strika wrote: »
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    Ceno wrote: »
    Yep. That's right. If supported by developers (and presumably Sony), Microsoft is supporting cross-platform network multiplayer.

    http://news.xbox.com/2016/03/14/letter-chris-charla-idxbox-updates-gdc/

    The Shadowrun FPS (terrible use of the license, by the way) had it between PC and XBox, for example. DC Universe (MMO) had cross platform gameplay between PS3, PS4, and PC. Final Fantasy XI and XIV both had cross-platform play during their life cycle. Street Fighter V is supposedly cross-platform play between PC and PS4 as well (for current gen). The Rocket League example being used in most tech news articles is already PS4 and PC cross-platform. There are a number of MMOs and online games already on PS4, Xbone, and PC that share leaderboards or other information between them.

    If there was a time to do it, though, it would be now, since PC, PS4, and XBone are all functionally similar with less differences than prior generations in terms of hardware.


    That Shadowrun FPS was actually an amazing game. Just didn't really have anything to do with the Shadowrun universe.

    I wonder how much people desperately wanting a real Shadowrun game hurt that. You can actually have a lot of fun completely disrespecting a universe if everyone involved knows what they're getting into. Look at Gotham City Imposters, that was pretty neat in the short window in which it hit its stride.

    jothki on
    PMAvers
  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    I thought DC Universe didn't support cross platform play? My friend is playing it on the PC right now and I was thinking about hopping on with my PS4 but the servers aren't connected at all.

  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    .
    urahonky wrote: »
    I thought DC Universe didn't support cross platform play? My friend is playing it on the PC right now and I was thinking about hopping on with my PS4 but the servers aren't connected at all.
    AFAIK, it is now, but it was not at launch on PS4. There was a patch that unified the servers.

    8i1dt37buh2m.png
  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    .
    urahonky wrote: »
    I thought DC Universe didn't support cross platform play? My friend is playing it on the PC right now and I was thinking about hopping on with my PS4 but the servers aren't connected at all.
    AFAIK, it is now, but it was not at launch on PS4. There was a patch that unified the servers.

    Interesting. I'll have to check it out then. Their site said otherwise a few weeks ago.

  • AegeriAegeri Tiny wee bacteriums Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited March 2016
    jothki wrote: »
    Strika wrote: »
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    Ceno wrote: »
    Yep. That's right. If supported by developers (and presumably Sony), Microsoft is supporting cross-platform network multiplayer.

    http://news.xbox.com/2016/03/14/letter-chris-charla-idxbox-updates-gdc/

    The Shadowrun FPS (terrible use of the license, by the way) had it between PC and XBox, for example. DC Universe (MMO) had cross platform gameplay between PS3, PS4, and PC. Final Fantasy XI and XIV both had cross-platform play during their life cycle. Street Fighter V is supposedly cross-platform play between PC and PS4 as well (for current gen). The Rocket League example being used in most tech news articles is already PS4 and PC cross-platform. There are a number of MMOs and online games already on PS4, Xbone, and PC that share leaderboards or other information between them.

    If there was a time to do it, though, it would be now, since PC, PS4, and XBone are all functionally similar with less differences than prior generations in terms of hardware.


    That Shadowrun FPS was actually an amazing game. Just didn't really have anything to do with the Shadowrun universe.

    I wonder how much people desperately wanting a real Shadowrun game hurt that. You can actually have a lot of fun completely disrespecting a universe if everyone involved knows what they're getting into. Look at Gotham City Imposters, that was pretty neat in the short window in which it hit its stride.

    One would wonder how that game would do now with three turn based RPGs having being released in that universe and rumored fourth one coming.

    RPG fans have their cake, now is when you can do literally anything else you want and get away with it. Minding an actual Shadowrun FPS that used concepts from the game its based on properly would be absolutely amazing. Something akin to an old MP game I used to play called Dystopia (which already felt very much like Shadowrun in some respects).

    Edit: Also didn't Shadowrun have a bunch of random balancing elements to try to make controllers more competitive with people using a keyboard and mouse?

    Aegeri on
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