Finally, it’s time to settle the score once and for all. After months of dilly dallying and testing, PC players will soon be able to take on Xbox One players in ranked Gears of War 4 matches. The might of the mouse and keyboard against the… comfiness of the gamepad, it’s a showdown for the ages.
Importantly, it also demonstrates Microsoft’s intent to fully integrate its Xbox services between PC Windows 10 and Xbox One. Going forward it’s looking as if this is going to be a fairly standard feature, letting console players compete with PC players without barriers. It’s basically already been shown to work with Rocket League of course, however this is the first time it’s happened in a genre which could hand a noticeable advantage to mouse and keyboard users.
Ranked Play in Gears of War 4 is playable in the core and competitive playlists, with no distinction taking place between console and PC users. PC players can choose between mouse and keyboard or gamepad, while Xbox One players are restricted to the gamepad. I can see a fair few console players being up in arms about this when it’s implemented soon, and it’s an easy scapegoat for a poor performance. However, developer The Coalition has said Xbox One users may have a toggle that lets them choose between playing with Windows 10 users or not.
I suspect a large portion of the decision making behind this is to inflate the number of active users for PC players. The Windows Store hasn’t exactly been a resounding success, so it’s unlikely there are thousands upon thousands of PC players matchmaking for a game of Gears of War 4. This serves to make buying the PC version of Gears 4 a more attractive proposition.
It’s certainly going to be interesting to see which platform comes out on top in this battle. The Coalition has been busy over the last six months balancing between the two platformers, and a third-person shooter is less reliant on aiming accuracy than an FPS.
Are you going to wade into the cross-platform ranked goodness? Which will come out on top in a third-person shooter, M&KB or gamepad? Let us know!