Monday, December 17th 2018

Could Microsoft and Steam be Looking Into Enabling Crossplay Between Services?

Crossplay has become an interesting point of contention for the industry, with some very popular games and companies advocating for a unified, non-fractured player audience enjoying their games across different media consumption screens, and even gaming platforms. Microsoft has been pushing this kind of capability for some time now, launching their Xbox Play Anywhere initiative which aims to bring PC, Xbox (or both) gamers to parity - acquiring a game on one platform equals having it on both, with all game data being synced.

A new update in the Steam beta update code explicitly refers to Xbox, with an "Xbox_pairwise_id" being present, which could point towards exploration of a future feature. Microsoft adding keyboard and mouse support to their Xbox consoles, news of a new streaming-based console for Microsoft's xCloud efforts, and Steam already offering controller support are some of the little details that could make this a winning bet for both companies.
As much as Microsoft would want, they can't push for crossplay alone with their services between Xbox Live and the Windows 10 UWP store - reception, usage, and overall penetration of it in the market is negligible compared to Steam, which practically dominates the PC gaming platform field. A partnership between the two companies would be, in a way, in both companies' best interests: it would give Microsoft access to Steam's vast amounts of gamers that are already sort of "locked in" to the platform due to their library size (and habit, let's face it) while giving Steam an ace in the hole against its competitors (GOG is a different beast, but the EPIC store could start biting Steam, in time).
Sources: Resetera, Tom's Hardware
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15 Comments on Could Microsoft and Steam be Looking Into Enabling Crossplay Between Services?

#1
m4dn355
So Epic games could be joining forces with SONY
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#2
StrayKAT
m4dn355
So Epic games could be joining forces with SONY
Cool. In both cases, gamers win.

Why Microsoft never bought out Steam though is beyond me (even Gabe was a MS employee once, I think). I keep pounding the drumbeat that MS needs to focus a lot more on PC gaming.... That would be their easiest ticket in. And would sure as hell put any contenders dead in the water.
Posted on Reply
#3
Eric3988
StrayKAT
Cool. In both cases, gamers win.

Why Microsoft never bought out Steam though is beyond me (even Gabe was a MS employee once, I think). I keep pounding the drumbeat that MS needs to focus a lot more on PC gaming.... That would be their easiest ticket in. And would sure as hell put any contenders dead in the water.
I'm glad M$ didn't buy Steam. As good as M$ is, they do make a lot of questionable decisions and not everything they do pans out. Let's bring on the cross play as long as the cheating doesn't get out of hand. Cheating has largely ruined multiplayer PC FPS games for me.
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#4
Ravenmaster
The more cross-play the better. Gamers unite!
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#5
Steevo
Ravenmaster
The more cross-play the better. Gamers unite!
More like KB/M player slaughter those with controllers. I bet they change the hitbox or something to level the playing field depending on which input is determined to be used.
Posted on Reply
#6
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I suspect it has less to do with "cross-play" and more to do with casting Steam to Xbox One consoles. Explains why they're getting rid of the Steam Link.
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#7
BakerMan1971
for controller based games like Rocketleague I would love to team up with all platforms.
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#8
bug
If it were my decision, cross-platform game play, social media, instant messaging, app stores and such would be mandated by law.
Posted on Reply
#9
StrayKAT
bug
If it were my decision, cross-platform game play, social media, instant messaging, app stores and such would be mandated by law.
So basically... one OS to rule them all?

Because it's impossible even with 3 dominating OSes (which is still very small compared to the old days).
Posted on Reply
#10
bug
StrayKAT
So basically... one OS to rule them all?

Because it's impossible even with 3 dominating OSes (which is still very small compared to the old days).
No, basically no walled garden allowed.
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#11
lexluthermiester
This is a disaster waiting to happen.. Just not a great idea..
Posted on Reply
#12
bug
lexluthermiester
This is a disaster waiting to happen.. Just not a great idea..
Why would you say that?
I'm asking because I'm buying exclusively from GOG and there are a few titles I wish I could play with friends that have bought off Steam.

Plus, from an engineer's point of view, interoperability is always preferable.
Posted on Reply
#13
lexluthermiester
(@bug Just in case you thought I was directly responding to you, it wasn't meant that way or you would have been quoted, which is why the quote function exists. I was commenting about the main article)
bug
I'm asking because I'm buying exclusively from GOG and there are a few titles I wish I could play with friends that have bought off Steam.
That's GOG and Steam, not Steam and MS Store. The world needs anything but an out of control juggernaut that such a partnership would create.
bug
Plus, from an engineer's point of view, interoperability is always preferable.
You'd think, but that's not the point of the article.
Posted on Reply
#14
bug
lexluthermiester
(@bug Just in case you thought I was directly responding to you, it wasn't meant that way or you would have been quoted, which is why the quote function exists. I was commenting about the main article)

That's GOG and Steam, not Steam and MS Store. The world needs anything but an out of control juggernaut that such a partnership would create.

You'd think, but that's not the point of the article.
I still don't see any foul in enabling cross platform game play ;)
Posted on Reply
#15
lexluthermiester
bug
I still don't see any foul in enabling cross platform game play ;)
True!
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