The internet has been abuzz with one particular announcement by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which states that the company is opening its doors to cross platform online play with Psyonix’s Rocket League being the first game that supports the new feature. The tech giant has also announced (passively) that it is willing to work with Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE) to enable cross platform online multiplayer with PlayStation 4 users.
Ever since the announcement, there has been a lot of praise and excitement around and a lot of people are commending Microsoft for its move (as it is really worthy for an applause) but if you look at it, there are a lot of limitations and potential problems that could end up being the reason behind the eventual scrapping of this method.
First up, let us talk about the technical issues behind the proposal. We all know that games run at different resolutions and frame rates across different platforms and while it is a very common occurrence on Windows PC, it can make all the difference on consoles. Moreover, it could take a lot of time to iron out the kinks in cross network compatibility and a lot of issues could end up hindering the overall experience. While these are minor issues, they could end up becoming a major issue for players and developers.
The second most important thing to note here is the fact that the feature is available to developers for use and it is up to them to decide if they want to utilize this new feature or not. Even if Sony accepts the invitation right now, there is not going to be support for cross network multiplayer for every game out there and the developers will have to implement support for the new feature if they want it. This limits the usability of the feature by a big difference and it could be a long while before we actually see games that are cross network compatible.
It is a well known fact that a keyboard and mouse is the ultimate choice of controller for multiplayer gaming and given the fact that most games run better on a PC, players on PC are going to have a clear advantage, both in the frames per second department and the usage of a much better controller (i.e. a keyboard and a mouse).
While the technical issues can be ironed out with the passage of time, I do not see cross platform online gaming becoming a seamless reality very soon.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Let me know in the comments below.