Microsoft reached out across the aisle to Sony in an act of such bipartisanship, even Congress couldn't compare.
All manner of gaming sites and blogs are reporting on the quiet hint made by Microsoft to Sony about getting cross-platform play for Rocket League.
Here’s the problem though: The offer was about as subtle and passive-aggressive as you could get.
The cause of all the hype came from a post from Chris Charla, director of the independent developer program ID@Xbox. First he announced the PC and Xbox One players will be able to play with each other in Rocket League. Then came the quiet wink-nod comment:
“Of course, it’s up to game developers to support this feature, and Xbox Live players will always have the option of choosing to play only with other Xbox Live players. We’re thrilled to confirm that Psyonix’s Rocket League will be one of the first games to take advantage of this new capability by enabling cross-network play between Xbox One and PC players, with an open invitation for other networks to participate as well.”
The first part of the cross-play news is that this is the first cross-network game on the Xbox One, which is exciting. A larger player base helps ensure a game’s livelihood and sustains the community’s enjoyment of the game itself. Of course, this can cause some problems. The physical differences between PC and console controls, that is, the precision of a mouse vs. a controller, have hindered any attempts to create cross-network play. The mouse won virtually every time in tests between the two control systems. Fortunately, the soccer-racing gameplay of Rocket League does a fairly good job of nullifying this advantage.
The second part comes from the last line of the post: “open invitation for other networks to participate as well.”
It’s easy to assume that this is just some PR-type coverage for anything they might try in the future, but its language is very precise. What other networks are there besides the other console? It’s a bit of a mild leap, but there’s plenty to hint at the meaning.
Unfortunately, Sony’s response was just as enigmatic. Instead of finally agreeing to bury the decades-old bloodied controller, they just shrugged it off by saying that they supported cross-network play between the PS2 and the PC back in 2002.
The console war is a brutal one, where neither side can ever declare a solid victory. The honest truth is that the exclusivity race and jabs at the other console only hurt gamers. Even this kind of a stalemated conversation is breath of fresh air in this console cold war.