Up For Debate - Should Multiplayer Games Be Cross Platform?

Written by Jacques Waugh on Sun, May 29, 2016 10:00 AM
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Rocket League was patched this week to enable cross-platform play between PC and Xbox One users, following up on the promise made by Microsoft in March that they were enabling cross-platform play. This means that now PS4 and PC users can play together, XbOne and PC users can play together but still there is no way for the consoles to play online with each other.

It’s not like the idea is being completely ignored by the 2 console juggernauts. In the March announcement by Microsoft, they said that "This means players on Xbox One and Windows 10 using Xbox Live will be able to play with players on different online multiplayer networks--including other consoles and PC networks." When Sony were directly asked if they would be interested, they gave the very safe and business answer that they’ve been support connectivity between PC and and PlayStation since 2002 with Final Fantasy 11, and that they “would be happy to have the conversation with any publishers or developers who are interested in cross platform play.” Sony said this in direct response to being asked if they were interested in working with Microsoft, and while it’s clearly not a no, it’s interesting that Sony elected to not even directly mention Microsoft or Xbox Live.

The obvious argument against cross-platform from a business perspective is that the manufacturer's biggest currency in their console wars is exclusivity. To sell consoles, you need to give gamers motivation to select your console over the others, and if all of my friends get a PS4, well then I will too so I can play with them. If I could get an Xbox One and still play with them, what’s to stop me from doing that? Well except for the fact that I’m not a console peasant obviously.

At the same time, I have friends who prefer console over PC for misguided financial reasons but I still want to be able to play with these friends. I know a poor wretch called Jon who loves Rainbow Six: Siege, and even though I have Siege on the PC, it looks like I’ll have to buy it on the PS4 so I can carry the lowly scrub with my godly mechanics.

There have been other examples in history where cross-platform has been enabled. Shadowrun for example allowed play between the Xbox and PC, Fable Legends was going to enable it, yet it still remains an extremely uncommon practice, even though the capability is there.

So we throw it to you guys. Should more multiplayer games be cross-platform? Or do you think it’s important to maintain the divide between the different networks?

Should multiplayer games be cross-platform?

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14:49 Jun-03-2016

I don't get people saying mouse is more precise than controller. I hate playing shooters with a mouse so I use my controller and I'm sniping again like a pro :)

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08:26 Jun-01-2016

This news maybe about Rocket League. But I comment in general about the cross-platform multiplayer. THAT thing supposed to be exist by now. I've been dreaming killing all console COD player with keyboard & mouse >.&#60

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14:23 Jun-01-2016

when BO3 came out, I played with a controller on PC, due to high Mouse input lag and I had no problems having a 1.5-1.7 K/D, with good accuracy of 13-17% with automatic weapons depending ont he gun without the annoying aim assist(aim kill) and K/D and when it comes to shooters I have only 50-100 hours with a controller, with a mouse and keyboard I had a 2.8 K/D and 22-30% with automatic weapons accuracy, but then I starded doing challanges and those annoying cheaters...

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12:09 May-31-2016

I'm all for anything making a better experience for the consumer in practically everything, problem is there is almost no way Console gamers can play up to snuff as far as shooters go, a mouse is FAR more precise than any analogue stick, and having an aim assist would be cheating as far as I'm concerned. It would be rad to play GTA V with your console mates or something.

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00:29 May-30-2016

Cross-platform would be great for consoles, but PC multiplayer is full of bots and cheating. Every game that I played on PC had hard time controlling cheaters.

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07:10 May-30-2016

good anti-cheat prevents that. I haven't seen more than one or two cheaters on all battlefield and battlefront games, while on some CoD it's hard to game one day without one cheater and that starts about two months after release.

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07:51 May-30-2016

good anti-cheat, just makes it harder to cheat and VAC, PunkBuster, whatever CoD is using, FairFight and such are all terrible anti-cheats.

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19:32 Jun-02-2016

I saw more cheaters on console than I have on PC.

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22:58 May-29-2016

simple: add the option for pc players to enable cross play, if they do they have a fps cap and maybe even the obligation to use controller. Now you're thinking why do I want to switch my K&M for a controller.

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23:00 May-29-2016

I have some friends playing on ps4, I wouldn't bother using my xbox one controller. For games like gta v or rocket league is fun more important than skill. I would still maintain my M&K for shooters like cod and bf though.

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00:31 May-30-2016

Sounds like a great solution.

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15:16 May-30-2016

480x?! lol

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05:21 May-31-2016

Just look at the rig name before judging...

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07:11 May-30-2016

Obligatory contrller is a good idea, but please don't cap fps. Higher fps is more like something that makes your experience better not that much your performance.

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11:12 May-31-2016

Yeah I've always liked the idea of enforcing gamepad for cross-platform. Obviously PC players could still use M&KB on PC-only severs

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22:29 May-29-2016

I'd love it because the only reason I'm still using a console is to play with friends who don't particularly want to build or mess with a PC.

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21:20 May-29-2016

Its definitely nice to have larger pool of people to play with.

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21:16 May-29-2016

Maybe.
Most games with crossplay over PS and Xbox is welcome in most cases, but once you get PC in the mix, It gets very situational, in some genres like turn based games, PC to console crossplay will work since no one is getting any advantages, and disadvantages, but when it comes to FPS, this is where I start to disagree.
Nobody wants to play against people with aim assist, and I doubt anybody likes to play against people with an accurate mouse and keyboard (and yes I am aware that there are peripherals for a mouse and keyboard now for consoles, the problem is not everyone will have these peripherals), and no accuracy vs aim assist is at no way equally fair, so finally, I do think developers should consider crossplay, only if no one gets an advantage/disadvantage over the other.

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22:17 May-29-2016

Mobile FPS games on Android have an even bigger problem when PC users (like me) get emulators that allow simulated mouse and keyboard controls. It's almost like cheating when I play against people using touch screens. With gamepad vs. keyboard and mouse the difference is less significant, but still there. I'm more for just consoles getting crossplay if anything.

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20:45 May-29-2016

LOL! Sounds like an excuse to lock all games down to 30fps to me. No thanks...
Maybe make it an available option in the game menu, but not a mandatory free for all. ;)

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18:28 May-29-2016

The main hiccup I think would be the FPS difference. Consoles are often having a hard time reaching 60 and I've even heard people saying that they can't play under 120 because...allegedly health reasons.
The debate about a controller vs. mouse+keyboard isn't as valid as some might think, since at the end of the day you can use either on both platforms.

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19:34 May-29-2016

You can use KB+M with consoles at this point

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13:57 May-30-2016

That's what I said

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19:54 May-30-2016

That's good to know, i didn't realize they could use kb+m. They should open up cross platform then!

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19:59 May-30-2016

That functionality costs though.

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17:41 May-29-2016

if we are talking about Xbox vs ps then yes but if pc is in then no.its not fair..

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17:49 May-29-2016

lol not fair because PC smash Consoles! loool

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18:35 May-29-2016

yeah

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18:39 May-29-2016

Except when something is so unoptimized and broken that it doesn't...even...come...close to consoles :/

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17:32 May-29-2016

Between consoles most definitely but between PC and consoles it's a different story. The advantage PC gets in FPS due to the mouse and keyboard would make it super unbalanced.

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19:34 Jun-02-2016

All the more reason the switch to the Master race.

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17:24 May-29-2016

Depends on how well that would work, rocket league for example works terribly between PC and PS4.

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17:07 May-29-2016

Depends on the genre. FPS's are a big no.

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15:39 May-29-2016

Of course It's so obvious

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15:20 May-29-2016

I can see Xbox and PS Crossplay. All three would be a concern since mouse is way more accurate than controller. Now for a game like Rocket League where controller is the preferred method it would be fine. Just my opinion though.

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14:59 May-29-2016

We use two consoles to depict two consoles, but then we use an old man to depict a PC. I see.

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15:07 May-29-2016

Old?

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15:13 May-29-2016

Well yeah, he looks pretty old to me.

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14:46 May-29-2016

Is there a reaon amongst gamers not to have cross-platform support? I can't think of one.

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15:13 May-29-2016

Jealousy.

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13:38 May-29-2016

Depends on the type of the game. But yes, i have been a strong supporter of this concept for as long as i can remember.

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13:05 May-29-2016

They should, cause this would be the only way to stop console fanboism

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| 30FPS, Medium, 720p
Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93GHz Radeon R7 250X Sapphire 1GB Edition 4GB
0% No [1 votes]
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Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
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APU A10-9700E 4-Core 3.0GHz Radeon R5 M320 2GB 12GB
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Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Asus TUF Gaming 6GB 16GB
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Core i5-6500 3.2GHz GeForce GTX 1060 16GB
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Ryzen 5 3500 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Asus Phoenix OC 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
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Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1060 Gigabyte Windforce 2X OC 3GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-12700K 16-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 8GB 32GB
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 7 2700X Radeon RX 550X 4GB 24GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-10600KF 6-Core 4.10GHz Radeon RX 580 Asus Dual 8GB 16GB
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Core i5-11400F 6-Core 2.6GHz GeForce GTX 1060 MSI Gaming X 6G Edition 16GB
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Ryzen 5 2600 Radeon RX 580 4GB 8GB
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Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Radeon HD 7970 OC Sapphire Edition 16GB
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Core i7-8086K 6-Core 4.0GHz GeForce GTX 980 4GB 32GB
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Core i5-7400 3.0GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Palit StormX 2GB 12GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gigabyte Aorus Master 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
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Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gigabyte Aorus Master 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ultra 16GB
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Core i9-10900KF 10-Core 3.70GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super MSI Ventus XS OC 8GB 64GB